Exchange traded fund managers added a net 575 new offerings in 2018 through Nov. 30., already their largest increase since ETFGI started tracking them in 2004; a net 458 new funds were added in 2017. Total assets measured $4.9 trillion at the end of November, a 5% increase compared to 2017.
While both the number of ETFs and total assets invested in them are increasing, the growth of total funds has outpaced assets in 2018. The average assets per fund dropped 4.5% in the first 11 months of the year to $79.3 billion from $83 billion in December 2017. The gap should widen when December numbers area released, given that the S&P 500 – by far the most common ETF index – has fallen nearly 4% in the first half of the month.
State Street's SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF is the largest fund with $265.7 billion in total assets. The fund had net asset outflows through November of $12.76 billion. iShares' and Vanguard's respective S&P 500 ETFs took in a net $16.1 billion and $15.5 billion through November. iShares' Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF was also notable, receiving a net $14.6 billion in 2018, more than one-quarter of its $50.2 billion in total assets.