When it comes to stocks, the best advice is to stick with the old adage and follow the money.
More and more, "follow the money" means following flows into exchange traded funds. And July is continuing the strong trend we have seen all year, with $23.4 billion of investor money flowing in, finally putting ETFs in the U.S. over the $3 trillion mark in assets under management, according to ETF.com.
To give you an idea of how strong the flows have been, last year ETFs had record inflows of $287 billion the entire year. We're at $272 billion in inflows in just the first seven months.
Put another way: the inflows in the first seven months have equaled about 9 percent of all the ETF assets under management. That is a lot of money coming in.
Several trends stand out, but the most noticeable is that money keeps pouring into bond ETFs. iShares Corporate Bond, iShares High Yield, iShares Aggregate Bond and Vanguard Intermediate Term Corporate Bond all had significant inflows. Why? With bond yields staying stubbornly low, investors are going anywhere they can to find yield.