Number of Market Indices Surges on Rising Demand for Passive ETFs

ETFs have attracted over $3 trillion as demand for passive index-based strategies exploded over the years, with money managers and fund providers adding more and more investment options to help investors access various global markets and segments.

Indices that track the various markets have increased by another 438,000 to over 3.4 million in the past year, reports Robin Wigglesworth for the Financial Times. The number of customized indices is on the rise, fueled by the increased popularity of passive investor, such as ETFs that try to reflect the performance of a benchmark index.

From June 2017 to June 2018, the number of global indices increased 12% to 3.73 million, according to the Index Industry Association, a trade body set up by 14 of the biggest benchmark indexers, including MSCi, S&P Dow Jones indices and FTSE Russell.

“Last year we were able to quantify the index landscape for the first time ever. Now that we have a baseline, it’s fascinating to see the amount of innovation coming out of fixed income where investors are looking for more fine-tuned benchmarks,” Rick Redding, the chief executive of the IIA, said in a report.

While the number of stock market indices fell 3% to just over 3 million in the 12 months ended June 2018, bond benchmarks are on the rise and continue to increase at a solid pace, accounting for about 16% of the overall index universe.

Related: Financial Advisors’ ETF Investment Trends in Today’s Environment