ETF Investors Don't Miss a Beat During Stock Sell-Off

Some may have seen the recent pullback as an opportunity to ditch more expensive and underperforming mutual funds for ETFs, which may be particularly noticeable during down days as investors take their profits.

“This provides a window into the seismic shift into ETFs that could occur in the next bear market, when investors who are currently ‘locked in’ to active mutual funds via their unrealized gains can finally leave for the cheaper, more tax-efficient ETF structure,” Balchunas said.

Among ETF providers, State Street Global Advisors, the name behind the SPDR brand, was the chief beneficiary of the new January inflows, attracting the most money through flows for the second straight month.

For more information on the ETF industry, visit our ETF performance reports category.