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Last year was a record year for ETFs in Canada, says a new report by National Bank’s Daniel Straus, Ling Zhang and Tiffany Zhang.

That’s because “investors met market turmoil with all-time high [ETF] flows of $16.5 billion. In dollar terms, this is the highest calendar year of flows on record,” says the report. “Canadian ETF assets crossed the $90 billion milestone in December but finished the year just shy [of that] at $89.6 billion. 2015 also marks the first calendar year in which not a single month showed any negative flows.”

Read: Globally listed ETFs snap up record assets of US$319B

Fund inflows were strong because investors chose to counter volatility and gain exposure to tough markets through ETFs, suggests the report. Also, there was increased product innovation. Read more.

In the U.S., ETFs brought in $241 billion, or 12% of beginning assets, despite weak market performance in 2015, says a second National Bank report. “Equity [funds] had the largest dollar flow (US$169 billion) while fixed [funds] attracted more in relative terms, with inflows amounting to 20% of beginning assets. Commodities [funds] saw the most volatility this year, but netted to flat flows at year end.”

Read: Equity ETFs are top performers in November: report

Meanwhile, leveraged and inverse flows in the U.S. had creations in the range of US$1 billion to US$7 billion. Read more.

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Originally published on Advisor.ca

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