This year's stock rally has has drawn more investors back into the market, boosting assets in exchange-traded funds to near record levels.
The rapid increase shows that ETS — which allow you to trade market indexes, sectors, commodities and currencies as easily as a share of stock — have become the preferred method for retail and professional investors alike to get quick exposure to the market.
Total U.S.-listed ETF assets climbed 8.3 percent in January to $1.150 trillion, just short of their previous record of $1.152 trillion, according to IndexUniverse. U.S. ETFs took in about $29 billion last month, the most since September 2012, according to the research firm.
“Investors definitely sense the improvement in the global macro picture and need their quick sugar high exposure to equities,” said Brian Stutland of Stutland Equities. “Thus, rather than figure out which stock to pick in a sector, they can just bang out exposure to oil, gold, emerging markets, industrials, etc.”
It was a January not to be missed as the S&P 500 jumped 4.4 percent, the benchmark’s best start to a year since 1997. Earnings surprises, better-than-expected economic data and the Fed’s pledge to keep rates low until 2014 boosted stocks. The appearance of progress in Greek bailout negotiations lifted the Euro, easing worries about a crisis.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page