The ocean of money keeps flowing into exchange-traded funds. October notched another record month, adding $56 billion to this year's total of $388 billion in new money, far and away the biggest year ever, even after just 10 months.
U.S.-based ETFs now have $3.2 trillion in assets under management, an increase of 11 percent this year. This is a long way from the roughly $16 trillion in U.S. mutual funds, but don't kid yourself. Mutual-fund flows are negative, while flows into ETFs are positive.
Where's all the money going? The flows have been fairly consistent. It's U.S. equity funds, international equity and a smattering of fixed income.
October ETF flows
(% of inflows)
U.S. equity 54 percent
International equity 26 percent
US fixed income 15 percent
Other 5 percent
The money is going into funds that track the biggest market indexes, including the S&P 500 (SPDR S&P 500 ETF, iShares Core S&P 500, Vanguard S&P 500), the Russell 2000 (iShares Russell 2000), Europe (iShares Core MSCI EAFE), and emerging markets (iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets).
Bonds aren't entirely left out. With some corporate bond yields near 3 percent, the iShares Investment Grade Corporate ETF (LQD) has seen its assets increase 27 percent this year, to over $10 billion.