Actively managed exchange-traded funds saw roughly $9 billion of net inflows last month, while their passively managed counterparts had net outflows totaling about $6.5 billion, Morningstar's February U.S. fund flows report shows.
"We've noticed over the past couple years that active ETF flows are sticky," Ryan Jackson, a manager research analyst at Morningstar said. "They finished each of the past 35 months with inflows."
Meanwhile, passive ETFs saw outflows both last month and in April 2022, Mr. Jackson said.
It's difficult to pin down exactly what's driving the flows into active ETFs, he said, adding that last month's outflows from passively managed ETFs likely reflected market volatility. In February, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust had $10.4 billion of net outflows, Mr. Jackson said.
"But we can see there is now demand for ETFs the vehicle, not just for the index strategies that they traditionally harbor," Mr. Jackson said.
Four players — Dimensional, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, American Century Investments' Avantis Investors and Capital Group — have particularly capitalized on the growth in active ETFs, the report said. Those four accounted for $71.2 billion — or 79% — of active ETFs' $90 billion in net flows over the 12 months ended Feb. 28, he noted.