ETF Assets Fall Below $1 Trillion

Assets in U.S. based exchange-traded funds (ETFs) fell below the $1 trillion mark in September, the lowest level since November 2010, according to a new report from Birinyi Associates.


Market pullback during the period caused overall assets to fall 8.3 percent to $972 billion. However, a net $4.5 billion in new money was added to a variety of ETFs in September.

"Even though the assets fell the money is still flowing into ETFs", says Kevin Pleines, an analyst at Birinyi Associates. "The market continues to grow."

The biggest percentage losing ETF was the Direxion Daily Russia Bull Fund, a highly leveraged play on Emerging Markets / Russia that lost 59.56 percent.

Conversely, the biggest winner was the Direxion Daily Russia Bear Fund, a highly leveraged short play on Emerging Markets / Russia.

Both funds are invested to return 300 percent of the price performance of the DAX Global Russa+ Index.

Foreign equity funds pegged to the EAFE Index had the greatest inflows, adding $2.9 billion in September. Other categories that saw inflows included high-yield corporate bond funds and large cap short ETFs.

U.S. large cap equity ETFs also saw outflows from the long exchange-traded funds, posting outflows of $5.1 billion.

The universe of ETF funds now stands at 1,333 including thirty-seven new ETFs that were issued in September. Four ETFs were liquidated or delisted.

U.S. based ETF assets peaked in April, 2011 reaching $1.13 trillion under management.