Big March Inflows Make the First Quarter One for the ETF Record Books
Investors continue to pour into stock ETFs, and Vanguard extends its streak atop the flows standings.
Stocks carried their momentum from a strong February into March 2021. The Morningstar Global Markets Index--a broad gauge of global equities--gained 2.54% last month after climbing 2.59% the month prior. Bonds continued to sputter, as rising yields pushed their prices lower. The Morningstar US Core Bond Index slid 0.98%, marking its third consecutive month of losses.
After bond exchange-traded funds dominated inflows for most of 2020, the tide has turned in favor of stock ETFs. They absorbed another $77.8 billion in March, bringing year-to-date net flows to $199.0 billion. Stock ETFs tallied $231.8 billion in flows in all of 2020. Inflows into all ETFs summed to $90.1 billion last month, which fell shy of the $91.4 billion record set in November 2020. While March flows fell just shy of setting a new record, they capped off a record quarter. The $245.9 billion that flowed into all ETFs in the first quarter shattered the prior record of $194.9 billion set in the fourth quarter of 2020 and nearly doubled the prior first-quarter record of $133.8 billion set in 2017.
Ryan Jackson does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.
Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.
We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.
We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.
How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:
To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.
Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.
To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.
Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.