Despite market turmoil, ETF assets held steady in a record-breaking month

By Maddie Johnson | March 4, 2020 | Last updated on March 4, 2020
1 min read
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Flows into Canadian ETFs shattered records last month, according to a report from National Bank of Canada.

February saw $8.4 billion flow into Canadian ETFs, the strongest month on record. In the first two months of the year, Canadian ETFs have already attracted $12 billion.

Despite double-digit market declines, ETF assets held steady at $210 billion in February — a month that saw the S&P 500 index fall more than 10% in a single week, while indexes for other major regions fell by 5% to 8%.

Fixed income ETFs broke a record of their own, attracting $3.3 billion in February, but were surpassed by equity ETFs, which attracted a grand total of $4.7 billion. 

Canadian equity funds led the board, seeing inflows of $2.2 billion, followed by U.S. equity funds, which attracted $1.5 billion, led by low-cost, broad-market ETFs. International equity funds attacked $948 million, and were split evenly between emerging markets and developed markets.

In the fixed income category, Canadian aggregate bonds, emerging market bonds, cash alternatives, U.S. investment grade bonds, long-term government bonds, Canadian mortgage bonds and Canadian preferred share ETFs all saw an influx in assets. 

Multi-asset ETFs saw inflows jump by 5.4%, or $339 million, in February. A newly launched alternative ETF from CI First Asset had close to $30 million in creations. 

Fifteen new ETFs were added to the Canadian market in February from First Trust, Horizons, BMO, PIMCO and Dynamic. 

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Maddie Johnson

Maddie is a freelance writer and editor who has been reporting for since 2019.