Investors are apparently getting a bit tired of domestic equities since the stock market held up this summer. What is interesting is that the inflows during August sent into gold and emerging markets. IndexUniverse released its August 2012 inflows and outflows data this morning showing that the $68 billion SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT: GLD) was the most popular exchange-traded fund last month with inflows of almost $2 billion. The second biggest inflow was the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEMKT: VWO) with some $824.3 million, and the bond ETF iShares Barclays 3-7 Year Treasury Bond Fund (NYSEMKT: IEI) added $752.1 million in inflows.
It is probably worth noting that the VWO gained only 0.25% in August but the GLD gained 4.9% in price during the month.
IndexUniverse said, “The three-least-popular ETFs last month were all U.S.-focused equity funds, which fueled outflows from U.S. equities of $4.12 billion.” That coincides with the $105 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT: SPY) as the largest ETF that there is having redemptions of $4.37 billion. The SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Trust (NYSEMKT: DIA) had outflows of $1.35 billion and the iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (NYSEMKT: IWM) saw outflows of $713.8 million.
As far as the ETF universe overall, investors added in $5.75 billion into ETFs in August and total assets rose 2.2% (with a 0.6% DJIA gain) to almost $1.235 trillion. IndexUniverse said that this total for August was just shy of the all-time high of $1.240 trillion.
JON C. OGG