“Time and time again ETFs proved their mettle in 2018 as investors turned to iShares ETFs in volatile markets to act as market shock absorbers, providing liquidity and price transparency,” Martin Small, Head of U.S. and Canada iShares at BlackRock, said in a note. “ETF trading, as a percentage of total equities traded, rose as high as 44 percent compared to the long-term average of 25 percent.”

The iShares ETF suite brought in a net global inflow of almost $168 billion, or 33% of the industry net flows of $515 billion. The iShares ETFs also enjoyed a new monthly record inflow of over $29 billion November and $44 billion in December.

“When flows and assets increase during periods of volatility and market downturn, it sends a powerful message: investors use iShares ETFs as liquid, low-cost, and transparent market access vehicles,” Carolyn Weinberg, Managing Director and Global Head of Product at iShares, said in a note. “We have particularly seen significant flows into factors and fixed income ETF products from investors building more resilient portfolios.”

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