More recently, the character of the flows have shifted a bit, as stocks have turned higher.
Since the start of March, the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and iShares Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) have managed to drive $4.9 billion and $2.1 billion in net creations, respectively. Still, five of the 10 ETFs that have seen the largest net inflows have been bond funds, even in this more recent time period.
Based on Lipper data, "funds have been flowing into equities at a pretty meaningful rate, and it looks like there has been cash coming off of the sidelines" in the past few weeks, Piper Jaffray technical analyst Craig Johnson said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."
Looking at the chart of the S&P 500, "there is no change in trend," so these flows into stocks are "probably going to continue," he said.
Indeed, with so many being left behind by the market's recent bounce, "the pain trade is up," meaning that a further rise in stocks will cause the sort of uncomfortable losses that lead fund managers to change around their positioning. In this case, that shift would mean covering shorts or going long.
"It's going to be even more painful when we break out to new highs," the bullish technical analyst added.