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ETF Investors Survive Rocky November

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- November was a rocky month for the global markets as the economic woes facing the European Union and other corners of the globe intensified and weighed on confidence. Despite the seemingly resounding doom and gloom, ETF investors remained refreshingly resilient.

According to the fund flow data compiled by the National Stock Exchange, total ETF/ETN assets dipped less than $20 billion during the month of November. This ensured that the universe would stay buoyed above the $1 trillion mark heading into the final weeks of 2011.

The industry welcomed 13 new products last month, bringing the ETF universe to 1,150.

The majority of the losses came in the form of depreciation. As evidenced by the net flow data, only $238 million headed for the exits over the past month. Industry leaders State Street (SST) and Blackrock (BLK) had the biggest declines, with $5.1 billion and $1.6 billion in outflows respectively. The losses, however, were largely offset by low-cost ETF sponsor, Vanguard, which took in nearly $5.5 billion.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) played a big role in propelling State Street to the top of the outflow leader board. Over the course of the month, over $4.5 billion left the product. The iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (IWM) and the iShares S&P 500 Index Fund (IVV) rounded out the top three outflow leaders.

SPY was not the only State Street-sponsored product to see heavy outflows. Six of the ten largest outflow recipients carried the SPDR name, including the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Index ETF (DIA) and the SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK).

Interestingly, at the same time that investors were fleeing SPY, they were piling into the company's other behemoth, the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD). In November, this leading physically-backed gold ETF welcomed $3 billion, earning it the top spot among inflow recipients. The fund handedly beat out its iShares-sponsored competitor. Inflows totaling $345 million kept iShares Gold Trust (IAU) from breaking into the top 15 list.

Although GLD led, Vanguard dominated the inflow leaders list. In a fashion mirroring State Street's November performance, Vanguard products commanded six of the 10 top spots among inflow leaders. Some of the most popular funds included the Vanguard MSCI Small Cap ETF (VB), Vanguard Barclays Total Bond ETF (BND) and Vanguard MSCI Small Cap Growth ETF (VBK).

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