SPY Reaches $400B In AUM

The oldest U.S. ETF hits a milestone, plus a look at August’s flows.

Reviewed by: Dan Mika
Edited by: Dan Mika

The trading doldrums of August didn’t slow down ETF flows.

U.S.-listed ETFs gained approximately $67.2 billion in net inflows during the month, according to ETF.com data provider FactSet. That’s a jump of more than $13.5 billion from June, and puts it just higher than net flows in January and May.

There’s now $6.8 trillion in assets under management in U.S.-listed ETFs as of Tuesday.

US Equities, Fixed Income Advance

U.S. equities continued to be the main driver of overall flows across the industry, adding $20.85 billion in net flows month-over-month.

ETFs tracking broad indices and mega cap companies led the way, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) pulling in $5.1 billion, followed by a combined $11.8 billion between the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ).

The KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) rounded out the top 10 gainers for the month, with $1.4 billion in inflows. The activity in that fund appears to be driven by dip-buyers looking to snap up exposure to the industry despite Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on big technology firms within its borders.

Domestic fixed income product inflows gained by 33% to $16.8 billion in the two periods, led by a $2.5 billion inflow into the iShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) and $1.7 billion into the iShares TIPS Bond ETF (TIP). Despite the inflows in August, LQD has lost the most assets in 2021, with outflows of $11.3 billion year-to-date.

Gold, Dividend Plays Fall

The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was by far the largest loser in the month, posting outflows of $1.7 billion for the month and a loss of 3% of its AUM. Investors have pulled almost $9.5 billion in assets out of the fund so far this year.

ETFs providing exposure to dividend-paying large cap companies also suffered in the month. The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) was the second largest loser, with $941 million in outflows, while the Invesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETF (SPHD) lost $496.4 million.

SPY Reaches Milestone

SPY crossed the $400 billion mark at the very end of the month. It’s an astronomical number in ETF terms, but a look at the history of the first exchange-traded fund on the U.S. markets puts its acceleration in accumulating assets into focus.



Consider the following:

It took approximately 7,060 days for SPY to hold $100 billion in assets at the end of a month, when it closed with $106.5 billion at the close of March 2012. It nearly broke that mark in December 2007 and 2008.

Investors then brought SPY’s assets from $100 billion to $200 billion in just over 920 days, crossing the mark sometime in December 2014.

The gap between $200 billion and $300 billion in assets spanned about 1,150 days after investors sold off in the first half of 2015. SPY hit the month-end mark at the end of January 2018 with $306.5 billion in assets. Approximately 975 days have passed between when the $300 billion mark was broken in late 2018 and today.

But the bull parade that has been U.S. equities through much of the pandemic was what propelled SPY to its new watermark. SPY hit its pandemic low of $224.9 billion at the end of last March. It took approximately 520 days for it to gain $175 billion in assets.

Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research at Morningstar, said the milestone is interesting in the broader context of how the nearly $7 trillion U.S. ETF market has developed over the past several decades.

However, he cautioned that SPY’s rise in assets was aided by forces other than organic growth.

“I would argue that the first $100 billion was the most noteworthy and the hardest-fought $100 billion, and the next $300 billion that has been added since were built on momentum, built on relatively bigger bases, and got a huge amount of help from just the market at large,” he said.

For a full list of this month’s top inflows and outflows, see the tables below:


Top Gainers (August 2021)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
SPYSPDR S&P 500 ETF TrustState Street Global Advisors5,124.69399,669.131.28%3,005.40
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETFVanguard4,887.05256,021.171.91%36,588.68
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFVanguard4,329.28272,543.111.59%27,836.00
QQQInvesco QQQ TrustInvesco2,591.26193,122.211.34%8,814.24
LQDiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock2,541.2942,843.155.93%-11,248.32
TIPiShares TIPS Bond ETFBlackrock1,771.0133,204.435.33%6,298.82
SCZiShares MSCI EAFE Small-Cap ETFBlackrock1,647.4715,149.6310.87%2,335.50
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors1,619.8943,428.283.73%9,706.80
ESGUiShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETFBlackrock1,539.2222,919.726.72%6,348.84
KWEBKraneShares CSI China Internet ETFCICC1,434.576,403.7022.40%4,972.90


Top Gainers (Year-to-Date)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMAugust 2021 Net Flows($,M)
VOOVanguard S&P 500 ETFVanguard36,588.68256,021.1714.29%4,887.05
VTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFVanguard27,836.00272,543.1110.21%4,329.28
IVViShares Core S&P 500 ETFBlackrock14,997.57305,669.544.91%1,365.27
BNDVanguard Total Bond Market ETFVanguard14,520.5681,573.8217.80%1,287.14
BSVVanguard Short-Term Bond ETFVanguard11,851.0641,203.7328.76%731.99
VTVVanguard Value ETFVanguard11,435.8585,572.4413.36%694.60
IEMGiShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETFBlackrock9,733.0479,463.6412.25%0.00
XLFFinancial Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors9,706.8043,428.2822.35%1,619.89
IUSBiShares Core Total USD Bond Market ETFBlackrock9,415.3215,408.9861.10%231.03
QQQInvesco QQQ TrustInvesco8,814.24193,122.214.56%2,591.26


Biggest Losers (August 2021)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
GLDSPDR Gold TrustState Street Global Advisors-1,774.3957,819.62-3.07%-9,492.28
SDYSPDR S&P Dividend ETFState Street Global Advisors-941.4419,878.02-4.74%-166.68
MBBiShares MBS ETFBlackrock-576.0824,929.52-2.31%-15.85
SOXLDirexion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X SharesDirexion-537.563,907.70-13.76%88.93
EWZiShares MSCI Brazil ETFBlackrock-519.185,084.05-10.21%-1,453.87
ARKKARK Innovation ETFARK-512.7222,485.97-2.28%6,185.09
XOPSPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETFState Street Global Advisors-504.652,849.08-17.71%-340.71
SPHDInvesco S&P 500 High Dividend Low Volatility ETFInvesco-496.373,021.25-16.43%65.66
XLEEnergy Select Sector SPDR FundState Street Global Advisors-492.5422,170.64-2.22%4,510.02
FASDirexion Daily Financial Bull 3x SharesDirexion-467.033,209.86-14.55%-956.90


Biggest Losers (Year-to-Date)

TickerNameIssuerNet Flows ($,mm)AUM ($M)% of AUMAugust 2021 Net Flows($,M)
LQDiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock-11,248.3242,843.15-26.25%2,541.29
GLDSPDR Gold TrustState Street Global Advisors-9,492.2857,819.62-16.42%-1,774.39
USMViShares MSCI USA Min Vol Factor ETFBlackrock-8,416.4028,807.11-29.22%-238.50
HYGiShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETFBlackrock-5,933.5920,044.21-29.60%-26.79
SHViShares Short Treasury Bond ETFBlackrock-3,491.0214,335.43-24.35%-59.65
JNKSPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETFState Street Global Advisors-3,119.839,493.40-32.86%89.58
EFAViShares MSCI EAFE Min Vol Factor ETFBlackrock-2,613.218,640.28-30.24%-165.29
USOUnited States Oil Fund LPConcierge Technologies-2,261.752,659.27-85.05%-136.43
IHIiShares U.S. Medical Devices ETFBlackrock-2,089.698,594.22-24.32%183.37
IVWiShares S&P 500 Growth ETFBlackrock-1,915.3637,522.85-5.10%228.17


Asset Classes (August 2021)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity39,841.024,039,224.140.99%
International Equity9,304.271,300,997.290.72%
U.S. Fixed Income16,876.531,079,777.691.56%
International Fixed Income2,550.98149,681.551.70%
Asset Allocation600.9618,322.583.28%


Asset Classes (Year-to-Date)

 Net Flows ($, mm)AUM ($, mm)% of AUM
U.S. Equity280,854.364,039,224.146.95%
International Equity161,541.131,300,997.2912.42%
U.S. Fixed Income115,531.551,079,777.6910.70%
International Fixed Income27,454.62149,681.5518.34%
Asset Allocation3,532.7018,322.5819.28%


August 2021 ETF Issuer League Table

IssuerNet Flows ($,M)AUM ($,M)% of AUMYTD 2021 Net Flows($,M)
State Street Global Advisors8,487.131,025,370.370.83%49,556.56
Charles Schwab2,072.33257,062.550.81%28,118.17
First Trust1,753.02141,589.641.24%17,123.15
JPMorgan Chase1,128.5968,884.741.64%19,614.11
Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., Ltd.1,042.6238,013.092.74%14,421.84
Dimensional Holdings418.1532,241.211.30%2,150.85
Goldman Sachs209.4125,456.400.82%313.31
Deutsche Bank-106.3122,522.89-0.47%1,038.74
Northern Trust295.4619,073.981.55%2,970.31
Franklin Templeton73.209,438.120.78%215.07
Pacer Advisors308.178,597.093.58%1,817.41
American Century Investments300.418,010.393.75%3,319.55
Exchange Traded Concepts116.007,452.381.56%1,757.70
Standard Life Aberdeen13.456,858.150.20%778.50
Nuveen Securities320.594,795.836.68%1,639.35
Amplify Investments78.844,712.051.67%1,339.38
New York Life80.814,559.611.77%416.53
The Hartford34.734,325.170.80%349.41
Janus Henderson7.904,145.250.19%197.37
Concierge Technologies-218.743,957.42-5.53%-2,648.38
US Global Investors65.973,473.581.90%473.63
Toroso Investments143.052,618.435.46%904.65
Ameriprise Financial26.701,653.011.62%370.99
O’Shares Investments-9.881,603.40-0.62%-0.01
Defiance ETFs23.211,563.121.48%413.22
Aptus Capital Advisors133.511,532.478.71%473.74
Virtus Investment Partners39.851,321.583.01%338.36
Davis Advisers1.731,272.860.14%124.50
Credit Suisse Group AG-10.991,061.77-1.03%282.69
Main Management16.231,049.451.55%249.64
Rational Capital LLC160.311,047.3115.31%799.66
EMPIRICAL FINANCE LLC16.621,012.251.64%266.54
The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.42.72982.764.35%374.90
The Motley Fool6.17718.330.86%75.39
Horizon Kinetics LLC50.28678.757.41%639.24
Simplify Asset Management Inc.61.00655.229.31%484.66
Roundhill Investments11.84579.372.04%280.86
Howard Capital Management97.79553.3217.67%166.66
Renaissance Capital-48.30548.70-8.80%-205.31
Timothy Plan4.63506.280.91%41.45
Redwood Investment Management13.40459.242.92%-10.34
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.23.85428.815.56%210.12
Liquid Strategies12.55424.862.95%97.26
Distillate Capital19.44408.944.75%138.09
SRN Advisors-13.94371.28-3.75%46.43
Regents Park Funds10.56359.992.93%78.59
Al Marketing LLC-7.54346.29-2.18%-50.53
ClearShares LLC0.00342.760.00%89.49
ProFund Advisors LLC75.81312.6724.24%334.35
Donald L. Hagan LLC12.20287.354.24%109.59
Government of Sweden-6.80284.48-2.39%-5.99
Little Harbor Advisors32.30226.2114.28%148.84
Core Alternative Capital21.18214.289.88%64.74
Mcivy Co. LLC0.00208.530.00%114.67
Intangible Capital0.00200.530.00%2.48
Syntax Advisors0.00195.500.00%48.05
Capital Impact Advisors-1.96186.51-1.05%-7.14
TrueMark Investments12.55181.796.91%98.54
Impact Shares28.71159.1018.04%114.25
Tuttle Tactical Management, LLC-81.27150.51-54.00%-16.47
Advisors Asset Management6.00133.504.49%84.23
Arrow Funds-5.91129.44-4.57%-2.69
Kingsview Partners LLC4.85113.444.28%103.44
Swan Global Investments26.06110.8823.50%103.29
CornerCap Investment Counsel, Inc.-1.06105.90-1.00%29.06
Wainwright, Inc.0.00103.570.00%90.25
Change Finance12.0193.9612.78%48.71
Emles Advisors LLC-4.7593.51-5.08%25.51
Humankind USA LLC5.6593.496.04%81.92
Exponential ETFs0.0082.400.00%1.20
Pettee Investors4.1182.205.00%25.89
iM Square SAS-0.9276.90-1.19%17.44
Groupe BPCE5.3973.907.30%18.05
Metaurus Advisors1.0368.631.50%6.93
Neil Azous Revocable Trust11.1765.1817.14%42.74
Beyond Investing3.0364.154.73%18.65
Guinness Atkinson Asset Management0.0056.140.00%15.08
Absolute Investment Advisers LLC0.6952.131.32%10.53
Alger Group Holdings LLC3.8150.797.51%39.19
Toews Corp.3.9549.907.91%0.38
Infusive Asset Management0.0045.160.00%8.53
Highland Capital Management-0.0141.72-0.02%-11.39
Alexis Investment Partners LLC2.0641.294.98%22.73
Premise Capital0.0040.610.00%-14.10
Formidable Asset Management15.1439.6538.19%38.38
Rayliant Investment Research2.5538.476.64%38.76
2nd Vote Value Investments, Inc3.3137.578.82%28.71
Red Gate Advisers LLC0.2737.260.73%5.87
ETF Series Solutions1.4236.453.89%6.00
Inverdale Capital Management LLC0.8835.472.48%28.82
Cabot ETF Partners LLC-0.2634.75-0.75%33.15
Pacific Life0.0031.730.00%2.44
AlphaMark Advisors0.0026.570.00%-1.41
Uncommon Investment Advisors LLC0.7824.713.16%22.84
Ridgeline Research LLC9.0123.4338.46%18.94
Knights of Columbus8.1821.6437.81%21.36
MCCM Group LLC-0.8720.11-4.30%32.20
Changebridge Capital LLC-0.2617.27-1.49%10.40
The Leuthold Group LLC0.0015.490.00%1.43
Applied Finance Group6.0215.0040.11%13.16
GAMCO Investors, Inc.0.2914.731.94%7.55
Mairs & Power, Inc.1.5214.4110.56%14.31
ASYMmetric ETFs3.3513.4924.83%13.08
Point Bridge Capital0.0012.970.00%1.00
New Age Alpha Advisors LLC2.3010.9321.06%8.54
Alternative Access Funds LLC0.0010.030.00%0.00
Whitford Asset Management-14.229.96-142.75%5.85
Counterpoint Mutual Funds LLC-2.409.09-26.40%-3.60
Water Island Capital Partners LP0.007.81-0.02%1.28
Jacob Asset Management1.607.4121.52%7.06
Global Beta Advisors0.005.150.00%-2.99
Future Fund Advisors4.534.6198.45%4.53
Reflection Asset Management, LLC0.004.36-0.02%1.29
Democracy Investment Management LLC0.673.9916.70%3.28
Spear Advisors LLC2.022.1295.30%2.02
Wilshire Phoenix Funds LLC0.001.800.00%0.00
Chadds Ford Investment Management LLC0.000.750.00%0.75
Zacks Investment Management0.720.7399.24%0.72
Eaton Vance Corp.

Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

Dan Mika is a reporter for etf.com. He has previously covered business for the Ames Tribune and Cedar Rapids Gazette in Iowa, and BizWest Media in Fort Collins, Colorado. Dan holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Truman State University.