ETF Exchange

Here are the hottest topics in ETFs for 2016

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The ETF.com "Inside ETF" conference, the biggest exchange-traded fund conference in the world, kicks off Sunday night with north of 2,000 participants and four days of packed events.

Despite higher volatility and lower returns, 2015 was another record year for ETF flows, with roughly $242 billion in net inflows, an increase of about 10 percent. By comparison, mutual funds had $125 billion in outflows.

That's $2.1 trillion in assets under management, and while it is still small in comparison to the roughly $11 trillion in assets under management at mutual funds, the mutual funds have been steadily losing assets for years.

That was enough money to attract a lot of new providers. Jeff Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital. John Hancock. Goldman Sachs. Eaton Vance. Even Kevin O'Leary of "Shark Tank" got into the ETF act last year.

There are now north of 1,600 ETFs, and more than 70 ETF providers.

I'll be reporting Monday and Tuesday from the conference. Here's an early peak at the hot topics everyone is talking about.