The world of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is tremendous and rapidly growing. As a result, there is a fund for nearly every niche or idea you can imagine. Investors today have an expansive freedom of choice in this area, yet many make similar choices. As it turns out, there is a relatively small group of funds that hold a very large share of all assets invested in ETFs. Upcoming ETF Talks will elaborate upon the 20 most popular ETFs in the market.
This list of 20 out of the thousands of ETFs available represents 40% of all assets invested in ETFs! This means that they are some of the most well known funds out there. Thus, it’s important that an educated investor be aware of the opportunities that ETFs represent and how they work.
The huge quantity of assets invested in these funds demonstrates how big an impact ETFs have had on investing. These 20 funds hold a combined total of more than $2 trillion. For reference, that’s more than 11% of the United States’ 2013 GDP.
The largest funds on the list tend to follow well-known market indices and invest in the domestic market, such as SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY); international markets in general, such as iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM); or even both.
Relatively smaller entries further down the list are more diverse. These funds focus on subsectors or specific investment directions, such as Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) and iShares S&P MidCap 400 Index (IJH). The table of all these funds, along with data on their 2014 performance and assets held, can be found below.
|Ticker||Name||Type||YTD%||Yield (IND)||Assets (MLN)|
|SPY||S&P 500 SPDRs||Large Cap Domestic||12.09||2.19||201,539|
|IVV||iShares S&P 500 Index||Large Cap Domestic||12.94||1.78||69,854|
|EFA||iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund||Intl/Global Equities||-7.55||1.89||52,833|
|VTI||Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF||Large Cap Domestic||11.14||2.10||50,550|
|VWO||Vanguard Emerging Markets ETF||Emerging Market – Broad Market||-2.73||1.74||47,986|
|QQQ||PowerShares QQQ||Large Cap Domestic||19.33||1.48||40,139|
|EEM||iShares MSCI Emerg Mkts Index||Emerging Market – Broad Market||-5.77||2.72||31,650|
|IWM||iShares Russell 2000 Index||Small Cap Domestic||3.51||1.02||29,733|
|GLD||streetTRACKS Gold Shares||Commodities – Metals/Miners||-2.72||0.00||27,840|
|IWF||iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index||Large Cap Domestic||12.59||1.14||27,626|
|VOO||VANGUARD S&P 500 ETF||Large Cap Domestic||12.28||2.16||26,543|
|VNQ||Vanguard REIT ETF||Real Estate||26.83||5.39||26,522|
|IWD||iShares Russell 1000 Value Index||Large Cap Domestic||12.11||1.80||25,979|
|IJH||iShares S&P MidCap 400 Index||Mid Cap Domestic||8.69||1.23||24,317|
|VEA||Vanguard Europe Asia Pacific||Intl/Global Equities||-7.49||2.49||23,976|
|BND||Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF||Aggregate Bonds||3.40||2.41||23,940|
|AGG||iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond||Aggregate Bonds||3.76||2.06||22,945|
|VIG||Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF||Domestic Dividend||8.72||2.24||21,066|
|XLF||Financial Select Sector SPDR||Financials||13.22||2.04||21,049|
|LQD||iShares iBoxx $ Liquid Invest Grade Bond||Corp Bonds||4.80||3.36||19,076|
Data as of 12/22/14
This table provides a roadmap for the next few months of ETF Talks. When we complete this series, you will be knowledgeable about the most popular funds in the rapidly growing ETF market. Check back next week for a look into SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
If you want my advice about buying and selling specific ETFs, including appropriate stop losses, please consider subscribing to my Successful ETF Investing newsletter. As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an e-mail. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about an international REIT ETF. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.