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Which ETFs Are Investors Buying?

Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The market's recent run has investors on the hunt for where to put their money. So where are the biggest bets being placed in 2013?

According to data by IndexUniverse, an independent data provider covering the ETF industry, investors seem to be avoiding lower-yielding securities and, instead, piling into more international funds.

WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity, for example, received net flows of over a $1 billion in January. The fund's strategy provides exposure to equities in Japan, while hedging against fluctuations between the value of the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen.

Emerging markets funds, which were hot in 2012, continue to show strength this year on the heels of economic improvements in the U.S. and abroad.

The largest outflows appear to be centered around some of the ETFs tracking U.S. equities, U.S. fixed income and gold.

January 2013 Asset Gainers

Fund Ticker Issuer Net Flows ($mm) AUM ($mm)
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets EEM BlackRock 3370 52126
PowerShares QQQ QQQ Invesco PowerShares 1427 32801
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets VWO Vanguard 1380 61432
Vanguard Total Stock Market VTI Vanguard 1146 26713
WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity DXJ WisdomTree 1136 2453
iShares Russell 2000 IWM BlackRock 1127 18188
Vanguard Dividend Appreciation VIG Vanguard 1036 13780
Vanguard REIT VNQ Vanguard 999 16943
iShares MSCI EAFE EFA BlackRock 922 41802
ProShares Ultra Russell 2000 UWM ProShares 735 926
Source: IndexUniverse

January 2013 Asset Losers

Fund Ticker Issuer Net Flows ($mm) AUM ($mm)
SPDR S&P 500 SPY SSgA -4368 125631
SPDR Gold GLD SSgA -1200 71054
iShares Barclays 3-7 Yr Treasury IEI BlackRock -1046 2037
iShares Investment Grade Corp Bond LQD BlackRock -759 24271
ProShares Ultra 7-10 Yr Treasury UST ProShares -706 19
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average DIA SSgA -583 10960
iShares Barclays 1-3 Yr Treasury SHY BlackRock -549 7497
Utilities Select SPDR XLU SSgA -425 5377
Market Vectors Gold Miners GDX Van Eck -410 7700
SPDR Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill BIL SSgA -403 893
Source: IndexUniverse

2012 Asset Gainers

Fund Ticker Issuer Net Flows ($mm) AUM ($mm)
SPDR S&P 500 SPY SSgA 15767 123001
Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets VWO Vanguard 10592 59097
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets EEM BlackRock 10506 48184
iShares Investment Grade Corp Bond LQD BlackRock 6851 25350
SPDR Gold GLD SSgA 5745 72239
iShares Core S&P 500 IVV BlackRock 5242 35098
Vanguard REIT VNQ Vanguard 4756 15386
iShares High Yield Corporate Bond HYG BlackRock 4504 15972
Vanguard S&P 500 VOO Vanguard 3815 6599
PIMCO Total Return BOND PIMCO 3772 3871
Source: IndexUniverse

2012 Asset Losers

Fund Ticker Issuer Net Flows ($mm) AUM ($mm)
iShares Barclays 1-3 Yr Treasury SHY BlackRock -3013 8045
iShares MSCI EAFE EFA BlackRock -2509 38815
Utilities Select SPDR XLU SSgA -1992 5458
PowerShares US Dollar Index Bullish UUP Invesco PowerShares -1158 689
Direxion Daily Financial Bull 3x FAS Direxion -1149 1135
Technology Select SPDR XLK SSgA -944 8284
iShares Barclays TIPS Bond TIP BlackRock -890 22284
ProShares Ultra S&P 500 SSO ProShares -808 1279
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average DIA SSgA -761 10923
Direxion Daily Small Cap Bull 3x TNA Direxion -683 732
Source: IndexUniverse
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