28 November 2020

2020 ETF Inflows Top $350B After Strong Oct.

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A rocky showing for global stocks didn't stop investors from adding to their ETF holdings in October. On net, $36.3 billion flowed into U.S.-listed ETFs during the month, pushing year-to-date inflows up to $354.4 billion. That compares to $225.8 billion at the end of last October.

The S&P 500 sagged 2.7% during October as investors weighed rising coronavirus cases and the upcoming presidential election against the potential for a vaccine later this year. Still, U.S. equity ETFs pulled in $5.6 billion of fresh cash during the month, led by the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU).

International stocks also lagged in October, but they too picked up net inflows, to the tune of $8.6 billion. The Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) led that segment, with inflows of $2.6 billion.

Fixed Income ETFs Unfazed 

Meanwhile, U.S. fixed income ETFs maintained their position atop the flows charts for 2020. The segment had net inflows of $19 billion during October, with $2 billion heading into the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND) and $1.6 billion heading into the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT).

Those inflows came in the face of a sell-off in Treasuries. The U.S. 10-year Treasury bond yield hit a four-month high during October, topping 0.87% for the first time since June (bond yields and prices move inversely).

Investors have been consistently adding to their U.S. fixed income ETF holdings throughout the year. The segment now has year-to-date inflows of $160 billion, outpacing the $91 billion that's gone into U.S. equity ETFs.

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