NEW YORK (
and emerging market ETF funds continue to be top destinations for investors.
According to the National Stock Exchange,
SPDR Gold Shares
had the second highest inflows of
, with $1.146 billion in net inflows. Only
Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets
pulled in more, with a total of $1.349 billion.
While Gold ETF funds are among the most popular in the ETF industry, shifting flows in November show that investors are becoming more aggressive in their
. After its early November debut, the
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners
had net asset inflows of $487 million between its first day of trading Nov. 11 and Nov. 30.
GDXJ, which followed in the footsteps of the popular
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
, offers a more aggressive, small-cap approach than its predecessor. During November,
assets into GDXJ and out of GDX.
GDXJ, in fact, had the eleventh largest net-asset inflows of any ETF in November, while GDX was among the 10 ETFs with the largest net-asset outflows.
As gold breached new highs throughout November, the timing of
It was the right ETF at the right time, but the data also indicates that some inflows came from GDX. Investors looking to get more aggressive seem to have made the switch, which should see a slowdown in asset gathering for GDXJ during December, even before the almost $100 drop in gold prices since the Dec. 3 intraday high.
After VWO and GLD, the top ETFs by inflow were a mix of broad, style, sector, and fixed income ETFs. Notably present were
iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury
, with $948 million net inflows;
iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25
, with $806 million; and
PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund
, with $700 million.
Even though the fund has fallen nearly 60% year to date, the
United States Natural Gas ETF
continues to attract investors. UNG, which saw the twelfth highest net inflows of any ETF in November,
both by oversupply in the natural gas market and regulatory concerns in the ETF universe. Despite ongoing concerns about the fund's strategy, UNG attracted $464 million in November.
iShares Russell 2000 ETF
was among the ETFs that saw the greatest outflows in November, with more than $750 million exiting the fund.
Other outflow notables include
iShares Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate
, $385 million in outflows;
iShares MSCI Canada
, $333 million in outflows;
SPDR Dow Jones REIT
, $262 million in outflows;
SPDR KBW Regional Bank
, $257 million in outflows;
, $243 million in outflows. No. 10 was
iShares MSCI Japan
, with $154 million in outflows.
As investors exited
and financials, some looked to get short. The highest ranked inverse leveraged ETF in terms of inflows was
Direxion's Daily Financials Bear 3X
remain the destination for day traders, attracting the highest dollar volume among ETF providers. Direxion funds had turnover of assets at 24.5 times versus 5.2 times at ProShares and 5.8 times for Merrill HOLDRs.
There were 20 trading days in November, so the average holding period was four trading days for ProShares and about 0.8 days for Direxion. The
ProShares UltraPro S&P 500
, however, was the most single traded ETF in November, offering three times the daily move in the
S&P 500 Index
. Direxion filed papers to launch a competitor fund this month.
Leveraged and inverse leveraged ETFs dominate the most traded ETFs, but
SPDR S&P Retail
snuck in at No. 6 overall. Retail HOLDRs (RTH) was the twenty-first most traded ETF. There is no leveraged ETF on retail and this may explain why these unleveraged ETFs remain a popular choice. XRT's turnover is such that more than 100% of the fund's assets exchange hands each day.
Other ETFs worth mentioning include
iShares Silver Trust
, which saw $387 million in net inflows. Also gaining were fixed income ETFs, among them
iShares Barclays 1-3 Year Credit
, with $434 million in inflows,
iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond
iShares Barclays Aggregate Bond
Vanguard Barclays Total Bond
WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan
had $182 million in inflows as speculation on the Chinese currency increased. It lifted the fund's assets under management from $212 million to $394 million, as the fund's price was unchanged during the month. Obama's visit to China played a role, but Chinese officials were adamant that revaluation will not be coming soon.
In terms of ETF providers, Vanguard led with $5.4 billion in inflows, which was well ahead of the $4.2 billion that flowed into Blackrock, the new owner of iShares. State Street Global Advisers saw $3.7 billion flow into their funds, followed by Invesco/PowerShares at $0.9 billion and U.S. Commodity Funds with $0.7 billion.
At the time of publication, Dion owned GDX, GDSJ, HYG, RSX MOO KOL.
Don Dion is president and founder of
, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.