Bond ETF Flows Strong, Volatility ETFs Hit $3 Billion | ETF Trends

In this week’s asset class flows, equity ETFs added $10 billion in just one week overall, more than doubling up on bond ETFs at about $4 billion. That said, equity ETF inflows could largely be credited once again to the sheer size of the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF (SPY) which added more than $5.2 billion over the last week or so. As such, bond ETF flows are the lead story in the competition among asset classes, with a greater diversity of sub-themes that deserve a look.

Asset Class AUM ($, mm) Net Flows ($, mm)
Equity $5,357,230.31 $10,441.35
Bond $1,342,506.62 $3,936.15
Volatility $3,001.33 $159.48
Preferred Stock $30,725.32 $124.38
Currency $3,877.90 $57.73
Multi-Asset $30,855.25 $31.70
Alternatives $5,130.19 -$10.20
Real Estate $67,003.81 -$338.79
Commodity $142,008.14 -$482.23


Vanguard’s Total Bond Market ETF (BND) continued to own the top spot in AUM over the last week at $91.1 billion in AUM, but it did not see the largest inflows over the last week. That title is held by the iShares iBoxx & High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) at $1.7 billion for the week, trying to overturn -$555 million in YTD outflows. Joining HYG in the $1 billion-plus category of one-week flows was the SPDR Bloomberg High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) at $1.3 billion.

No other high-yield bond ETFs made it into the top ten, suggesting that while interest in high-yield offerings was high over the last week, the jury is still out as to where the crowd is moving in fixed income, and particularly, bonds. For those looking for broader exposure to bonds, BND did see the fourth-largest inflows for the week at $471 million, just behind the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT) at $720 million.

Elsewhere, volatility ETFs, most of which interact very closely with the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s CBOE Volatility Index, or the VIX, tipped over $3 billion in total ETF AUM with the third-largest asset class flows for the week at $159 million. That interest in strategies like the iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) may speak to a continued degree of uncertainty and expectation of market fluctuations and volatility – especially with earnings season now in full swing.

Overall, strong bond ETF inflows and equities inflows suggest continued investor faith in the ETF wrapper, as the vehicle tries to make up ground and meet some of the high inflows numbers it saw last year.

For more news, information, and analysis, including the ETF Issuer League, visit the Fixed Income Channel.