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ETFs AM Wrap-Up: Fee Wars heating up while fund flows remain weak to low fee ETFs

Mar 20, 2019

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  • Industry pundits are warning that the ongoing fee wars among ETF managers may actually be bad for the industry.  A deceleration in asset growth, combined with increasing competition, suggests the industry could be reaching maturity.  We think differently -- many of the ETF strategies pursued are simply copycats.  At a more micro level, there continues to be demand for innovative and differentiated strategies. 
  • While the market focus on low fee ETFs is dominating headlines, we still don’t see strong positive fund flows into the cheapest ETFs (in terms of net expense ratios).  Notably, the only one who has seen decent fund flow over the last 30-days is the iShares Core S&P Total US Stock Market ETF (ITOT) at USD$951 million.  The iShares Core S&P Total US Stock Market ETF (ITOT) as “Buy” trading signal with a “Poor” Smart Beta Rating.
  • Over the past week, fund flows into US ETFs have been +USD$9.6 billion at the expense of other international ETFs.  In aggregate, flows to pan-European ETFs have been negative, though UK and Spain-focused ETFs have been positive.  The iShares MSCI Spain (EWP) has a “Buy” trading signal, though it carries a “Caution” Smart Beta Rating.

 

Top 5 ETFs by Assets Under Management (AUM)

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Name Ticker 30-Day Fund Flow ($) 90-Day Fund Flow ($) Assets Under Management ($ billions) Net Expense Ratio (%)
SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust SPY -$4,080,975,500 -$8,625,007,500 $272.43 0.10%
iShares Core S&P 500 ETF IVV $6,973,630,000 $1,434,162,500 $152.99 0.04%
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF VTI $1,244,473,884 $3,851,669,013 $99.63 0.04%
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF VOO $3,262,184,488 $2,738,698,043 $93.76 0.04%
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF EFA -$2,243,502,000 -$2,700,222,000 $72.40 0.32%

Source: ETF Global

Top 5 ETFs by Lowest Net Expense Ratios

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Name Ticker 30-Day Fund Flow ($) 90-Day Fund Flow ($) Assets Under Management ($ billions) Net Expense Ratio (%)
Schwab US Large-Cap ETF SCHX $267,764,000 $342,542,000 $12.93 0.03%
SPDR Portfolio Total Stock Market ETF SPTM $90,499,500 $349,208,000 $2.06 0.03%
SPDR Portfolio Large Cap ETF SPLG $147,549,500 $402,743,000 $1.29 0.03%
iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF ITOT $951,642,500 $2,085,861,000 $14.09 0.03%
Schwab US Broad Market ETF SCHB $495,374,000 $797,320,000 $12.38 0.03%

Source: ETF Global

Top 5 ETFs by 30-Day Fund Flow

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Name Ticker 30-Day Fund Flow ($) 90-Day Fund Flow ($) Assets Under Management ($ billions) Net Expense Ratio (%)
iShares Core S&P 500 ETF IVV $6,973,630,000 $1,434,162,500 $152.99 0.04%
Graniteshares Gold Trust BAR $4,126,134,500 $4,258,634,300 $0.00 0.20%
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF VOO $3,262,184,488 $2,738,698,043 $93.76 0.04%
iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF IEFA $2,127,470,000 $2,403,324,000 $54.06 0.08%
Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ $1,529,551,000 -$1,632,646,500 $66.79 0.20%

Source: ETF Global

Top 5 ETFs by 90-Day Fund Flow

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Name Ticker 30-Day Fund Flow ($) 90-Day Fund Flow ($) Assets Under Management ($ billions) Net Expense Ratio (%)
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF IEMG $340,548,000 $6,197,202,000 $46.58 0.14%
Graniteshares Gold Trust BAR $4,126,134,500 $4,258,634,300 $0.00 0.20%
iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF USMV $1,044,890,000 $4,068,575,000 $15.77 0.15%
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF VTI $1,244,473,884 $3,851,669,013 $99.63 0.04%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF EEM $206,910,000 $3,178,278,000 $38.75 0.69%

Source: ETF Global

 

 

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