Monthly ETF Fund Flows
Sept/Q3 ETF Flows: Risk Trade Is Back On
October 01, 2012
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Investors plowed more than $37 billion into U.S.-listed ETFs in September, the most since $29 billion of inflows in January of this year, as markets took to heart the Federal Reserve’s latest move to stimulate the economy with a fresh round of bond buying, and took on risk, particularly in equities.
Overall, total U.S.-listed ETF assets rose 5.3 percent to $1.301 trillion from $1.235 trillion at the end of August, according to data compiled by IndexUniverse. At the end of September—and at the end of the third quarter—ETF assets were just shy of a record of nearly $1.311 trillion set on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
More than $30 billion of the September flows were in stock funds, with $22 billion of those targeting U.S. equities. In the third quarter, inflows totaled nearly $60 billion, just topping first-quarter inflows of $56 billion and nearly tripling second-quarter flows of $20.41 billion. Total assets at the end of last month were up 22.5 percent from the end of 2011, and up a third from $973.5 million a year ago.
The simple possibility of the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing—QE3 in market-speak—was enough to bring investors back in droves in the third quarter and in September in particular. Similar easy-money moves by the European Central Bank and by the Bank of Japan aimed at supporting fragile growth in the global economy also encouraged investors to take risks.
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