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Vanguard blew away the competition in Q1, fund flow data show

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 4/6/2020 Andrea Riquier

Vanguard sign at investment conference © M. Spencer Green/AP Photo

Vanguard sign at investment conference

When it comes to ETFs, there are three big players, and then there’s everyone else, but in the first quarter, there was one asset manager to rule them all.

Data out Friday from FactSet showed that Vanguard pulled in $48.5 billion in the first three months of the year, more than four times its nearest competitor, BlackRock.

See: Three fund managers may soon control nearly half of all corporate voting power, researchers warn

Some of the other big gainers during the quarter reflect the market churn: the World Gold Council, issuer of the first gold ETF (GLD) , picked up about $4.3 billion. And Innovator, creator of a market buffer product profiled by MarketWatch last summer, was also among the top ten.

Company Flow 
Vanguard         48,539,052,187
Blackrock         10,068,581,279
ProShares            6,671,233,889
Charles Schwab            5,938,401,000
Rafferty Asset Management            4,769,158,010
World Gold Council            4,262,691,510
Concierge Technologies            2,878,676,302
Citi               939,203,144
Goldman Sachs               858,715,650
Innovator               788,279,478
VanEck             (632,982,896)
Deutsche Bank             (989,417,442)
Credit Suisse         (1,211,195,262)
WisdomTree         (1,247,189,328)
Barclays          (1,294,826,847)
Northern Trust         (1,296,045,933)
Allianz         (1,663,697,300)
JPMorgan Chase         (2,590,410,432)
State Street         (3,567,170,794)
Invesco         (3,770,835,690)

As noted in the chart above, one of the biggest losers was State Street, one of the three biggest fund managers. Its flagship fund, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) , is still the biggest —but it also saw the most outflows during the quarter, losing over $13 billion.

That’s because institutional investors use SPY as a trading tool, as previously reported, while Individual investors wanting to buy and hold the stocks in the S&P 500 (SPX)  are far more likely to use the cheaper Vanguard version (VOO) Indeed, with $18.4 billion in inflows in the quarter, the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF was far and away the biggest winner.

Related: This chart shows how Vanguard’s explosive growth has ‘taken on a life of its own’


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