NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In 2009, investors in exchange-traded funds flocked to alternative assets, emerging markets and bonds.

The SPDR Gold Shares ETF ( GLD) and Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF ( VWO) both had net asset inflows of more than $1 billion.

Bond funds like iShares' TIPS ETF ( TIP) and Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF ( LQD) ranked among the largest funds in the ETF universe.

In the wake of the global economic crisis, some investors regained their appetite for risk, while others sought protection from it.

As 2010 begins, a different group of market forces, political pressures and investor frustrations will guide the flow of ETF assets and help to shape the future of the fund industry. ETFs, with their unique structure and low management costs, will continue to offer investors convenient ways to access individual sectors, market trends and portfolio strategies.

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