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ETF Asset Report of October

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The month of October 2020 was a volatile one. Election uncertainty, failed talks over the virus-related stimulus bill, subdued tech earnings and rising coronavirus cases on the global front added to Wall Street’s woes. The S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq composite lost about 3.3%, 4.7% and 3.7%, respectively, in the month.In this scenario, we highlight ETF asset flows for the month of October (per etf.com).

Total Stock Market Wins

Probably to counter volatility in and outside the domestic border, investors preferred to focus on diversification. Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI - Free Report) and Vanguard Total International Stock ETF (VXUS) amassed about $3.76 billion and $2.60 billion, respectively, in the month.

Bonds Top

Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND - Free Report) garnered about $1.98 billion in assets. As volatility flared up in October, bond markets drew investors’ attention. Further phases of lockdowns in various countries of Europe triggered the concerns about acute economic slowdown. This in turn propelled investors toward the safe-asset bonds. iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT - Free Report) too added about $1.65 billion in assets. Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (BNDX) raked in about $1.45 billion in assets.

Not only treasuries, some corporate bonds were also investors’ favorites. Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCSH - Free Report) and iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) added about $1.38 billion and $1.18 billion in assets, respectively. iShares JP Morgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETF (EMB) gained about $1.40 billion in assets.

ESG Concept Gaining Precedence

iShares ESG Aware MSCI USA ETF (ESGU - Free Report) hauled in about $1.96 billion in assets. ESG investing has been a popular concept lately. The coronavirus pandemic has changed Americans lifestyle and preferences to a large extent. The health crisis has also impacted the investing world, with market participants showing greater interest in conscious investing, boosting demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds (read: ESG ETFs to Keep Shining Bright on Increasing Popularity).

S&P 500 ETF SPY Loses Assets

SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY - Free Report) topped the list of an asset loser as it saw about $7.35 billion in assets gushing out of the fund. Wall Street’s underperformance plus SPY’s higher expense ratio than the two other popular S&P 500 products probably led to the asset outflow.

Small-Cap ETF Failed to Impress

iShares Core S&P Small-Cap ETF (IJR - Free Report) lost about $782 billion in assets. Since President Trump postponed the stimulus talks until the end of election, investors probably dumped small-cap stocks, which are big beneficiaries of a U.S. economic recovery and U.S. consumer spending.

Gold Lost Its Glitter Too 

SPDR Gold Trust (GLD - Free Report) lost about $628.7 million in assets. Invesco DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP - Free Report) was up 0.4% last month. Since the gold bullion is priced in the U.S. dollar, gold price underperformed last month. GLD lost 0.8% last month.

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