Top 10 Active ETFs of 2021 by Flows | ETF Trends

The year is close to wrapping up, and while December will still see a flurry of activity within ETFs from tax-loss harvesting and other activities by investors, it’s worth looking back on the top performing ETFs that experienced record-setting performances by markets over the past year. Active ETFs are being launched at far higher rates than their passive counterparts, and one of the newest launches has already snagged a spot in the top 10 actively managed ETFs within two months of launch.

  1. The SPDR Blackston Senior Loan ETF (SRLN) offers exposure to floating-rate, non investment-grade senior secured debt of companies within and outside of the U.S. that will reset within three months. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.70% and has flows of almost $6.3 billion YTD.
  2. The ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) is the flagship fund for ARK Investment and seeks to find and invest in disruptive innovation within a variety of industries. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.75% and, despite outflows in recent months, still has $4.86 billion in flows YTD.
  3. The JPMorgan Equity Premium Income ETF (JEPI) is a fund that invests in S&P 500 stocks with low volatility and that have value characteristics, and then sells options on those stocks to generate income. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.35% and has flows of nearly $4.8 billion YTD.
  4. The Nuveen Growth Opportunities ETF (NUGO) has a concentrated portfolio of U.S. large-cap companies that have quality, growth, and value indicators. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.55% and was launched on September 27 of this year; the fund already has flows of nearly $3.25 billion YTD.
  5. The JPMorgan Ultra-Short Income ETF (JPST) invests in short-term investment-grade debts broadly across markets; these can include variable, floating, and fixed-rate bonds and have ultra-short terms. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.18% and has $3.05 billion in flows YTD.
  6. The Quadratic Interest Rate Volatility & Inflation Hedge ETF (IVOL) is a fund that works to hedge against inflation and yield curve changes as well as interest rate volatility by utilizing long options and TIPS. The fund carries an expense ratio of 1.05% and has flows of $2.4 billion YTD.
  7. The Invesco Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Strategy No K-1 ETF (PDBC) offers exposure to commodity futures and works to avoid “negative roll yield,” a common issue for passive commodity funds, all while avoiding the tax headache of a K-1. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.59% and has flows of nearly $2 billion YTD.
  8. The Vanguard Ultra-Short Bond ETF (VUSB) invests in short-term fixed income securities that have maturities of up to two years, and while it primarily invests in bonds with a rating of A3 or higher, it does also invest in some higher-risk fixed income assets. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.10% and has $1.95 billion in flows YTD.
  9. The First Trust Preferred Securities and Income ETF (FPE) invests in global preferred stocks across market caps that are issued by U.S. firms, as well as high-yield bonds. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.85% and has flows of $1.93 billion YTD.
  10. The First Trust Global Tactical Commodity Strategy Fund (FTGC) provides exposure to commodities through futures contracts via a subsidiary while utilizing a cash-only creation structure. The fund carries an expense ratio of 0.95% and has flows of almost $1.68 billion YTD.

All ETF flow data was as of December 7, 2021.

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