We also saw an uptick in interest for alternative and mixed allocation strategies that could have provided a more diversified investment approach in a year marked by volatility in traditional stock and bonds. Specifically, mixed-allocation ETFs added $2.7 billion or a 28.2% increase year-over-year, and alternative ETFs attracted $1.2 billion or a 46.9% jump year-over-year.

Looking ahead, Bartolini argued that the benefits of the ETF structure should continue to help the investment vehicle attract more attention down the road.

“The shift to indexing, lower costs, efficient use cases for strategic and tactical asset allocation, and the increased transparency into holdings, and therefore drivers of return, should continue supporting overall industry growth. This trend is evidenced by equity strategies still taking in more $200 billion on the year, with $34 billion even as the market was falling out of bed in December,” the strategist said.

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