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  Asset Flows Monitor March 2021 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor March 2021 Edition
  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs were robust in February, totaling $89.5 billion.  Total ETF assets under management reached $5.71 trillion, an all-time month-end high water mark.
  • Equity ETFs had the strongest net inflows in February (+$79.3 billion), bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $310.4 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs brought in $11.8 billion of net inflows in February, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $201.7 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had $2.4 billion of net outflows in February, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $33.9 billion. Most of February's net outflows came from precious metals ETFs (-$3.5 billion), while net inflows for broad market commodity ETFs accelerated to $1.3 billion.
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Posted on Friday, March 5, 2021 @ 9:10 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  Asset Flows Monitor February 2021 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor February 2021 Edition
  • Net inflows for US-listed ETFs started 2021 on a strong note, with $69.9 billion in net inflows in January. Total ETF assets under management reached $5.56 trillion, an all-time month-end high water mark.
  • Equity ETFs had the strongest net inflows in January (+$45.8 billion), bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $247.7 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs brought in $22.3 billion in net inflows in January, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $213.4 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had $0.9 billion in net inflows in January, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $38.7 billion.

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Posted on Friday, February 5, 2021 @ 1:24 PM • Post Link Share: 
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  Seeking Alpha with Thematic ETFs
Posted Under: ETFs
Over the past few years, thematic ETFs have grown in popularity among financial professionals seeking exposure to a variety of investment trends, many of which are related to innovative, high-growth industries. While there is no industry-standard definition for what makes an ETF "thematic," we generally consider those that seek to capture specific trends—often outside of broad sector constraints—as thematic investments. Many of these ETFs focus on secular growth opportunities in digital technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain, while some target trends in other industries such as water, agriculture, and green energy. For investment professionals seeking to incorporate thematic ETFs in client portfolios, we offer a few considerations and suggestions below.

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Posted on Friday, February 5, 2021 @ 8:20 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  Alternatives Update 4th Quarter 2020
Posted Under: Alternatives
In the fourth quarter of 2020 Wall Street cheered but Main Street seethed; it was truly a study in extremes. In our opinion, the highs were soaring assets prices, renewed cryptocurrency zeal, and emergency approval by the FDA of two COVID-19 vaccines. The lows were tremendous rancor surrounding the Presidential election, swaths of the economy remaining severely hobbled by the pandemic and rising COVID-19 deaths as a second wave gripped not only the United States but many countries across the globe.  

Congress wrestled over the next round of pandemic stimulus with some members of the Republican party re-embracing fiscal discipline once it became clear that Joe Biden would be the next President.  Meanwhile some members of the Democratic party seemed to move even further into monetary fantasyland with discussions of total student loan forgiveness, multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and global warming initiatives, as well as supersizing more rounds of direct-to-consumer stimulus checks.  The Federal Reserve (the "FED") made nary a mention of any potential bubbles and did nothing to dissuade the notion that they were ready, willing and able to keep the printing presses rolling as well as find new and inventive ways to use those printing presses.

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Posted on Friday, February 5, 2021 @ 8:01 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  Closed-end Fund Review - Fourth Quarter 2020
Posted Under: CEFs
FOURTH QUARTER AND 2020 OVERVIEW
Following the third quarter, when the average closed-end fund (CEF) was up 3.27%, CEFs continued their positive momentum and increased—on average—by 12.75% during the fourth quarter. (https://www.ftportfolios.com/Commentary/Insights/2020/10/26/third-quarter-2020) The significant rally many CEFs had in the second, third and fourth quarters was enough to bring the average CEF to a positive total return of 2.66% for all of 2020. While this might not seem all that impressive, when you consider the average CEF was lower by 23.46% at the end of the first quarter as a result of the initial shutdown of the global economy, the roughly 3% average total return for 2020 becomes much more impressive. (Source: Morningstar. All performance is based on share price total return).

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Posted on Friday, January 22, 2021 @ 9:42 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  Asset Flows Monitor January 2021 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor January 2021 Edition
  • December capped off a strong year for US-listed ETFs, with $62.0 billion in net inflows, bringing 2020 net inflows to $480.6 billion.  Total ETF assets under management finished the year at $5.40 trillion, an all-time month-end high water mark.
  • Equity ETFs had the strongest net inflows in December (+$43.3 billion), bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $228.6 billion.
  • Fixed income ETFs brought in $19.0 billion in net inflows in December, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $209.4 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had $0.8 billion in net outflows in December, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $39.9 billion.

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Posted on Thursday, January 7, 2021 @ 11:55 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  Asset Flows Monitor December 2020 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor December 2020 Edition
November was a relatively strong month for net inflows into US-listed ETFs, which totaled $93.0 billion, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $469.1 billion.  Total ETF assets under management now stand at $5.21 trillion, an all-time month-end high water mark.
Equity ETFs had the strongest net inflows in November (+$82.0 billion), bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $222.7 billion.
Fixed income ETFs also had a respectable month for net inflows with $15.3 billion, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $204.9 billion.
Commodities ETFs had $4.5 billion in net outflows in November, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $40.2 billion.

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Posted on Friday, December 4, 2020 @ 8:34 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  First Trust Green Energy ETF Primer
Posted Under: ETFs
As fossil fuels continue to lose market share to renewable energy for power generation, investors have grown more interested in green and renewable energy exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For additional commentary on renewable energy, see our recent newsletter titled, What's Fueling the Rise in Green Energy ETFs?  Below, we provide a brief overview of the methodologies and exposures of three First Trust ETFs focused on the green energy investment theme.

The First Trust NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Green Energy Index Fund (QCLN) tracks US-listed companies that derive the majority of their revenue from clean energy and low carbon activities. The First Trust Global Wind Energy ETF (FAN) is a targeted approach to companies involved in the wind energy industry. The First Trust NASDAQ® Clean Edge® Smart Grid Infrastructure Index Fund (GRID) is made up of companies in the grid and electric energy infrastructure sector, including companies that are primarily engaged and involved in electric grid, electric meters and devices, networks, energy storage and management, and enabling software used by the smart grid infrastructure sector.

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Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 7:49 AM • Post Link Share: 
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  Asset Flows Monitor November 2020 Edition
Posted Under: ETFs

 
Asset Flows Monitor November 2020 Edition
  • US-listed ETFs had $33.5 billion in net inflows in October, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $416.6 billion.  Total ETF assets under management now stand at $4.68 trillion.
  • Fixed income ETFs had the strongest net inflows in October (+$21.6 billion), bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $199.8 billion.
  • Equity ETFs had $12.0 billion in net inflows in October, bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $172.0 billion.
  • Commodities ETFs had $0.4 billion in net outflows in October—marking the category's first month of net outflows in 2020—bringing trailing 12-month net inflows to $43.7 billion. 

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Posted on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 @ 1:46 PM • Post Link Share: 
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  Alternatives Update 3rd Quarter 2020
Posted Under: Alternatives
The third quarter of 2020 was a continuation of multiple trends from the second quarter: strong capital market returns, continued injections of liquidity from global central banks, supportive rhetoric and action from the Federal Reserve (the "FED"), calls for more fiscal stimulus and generally positive economic and sentiment data.  The economic recovery looked to be more  "K-shaped" in which part of the economy has done reasonably well and part of the economy saw no improvement or declined, thus prompting calls for targeting lower income levels in the next round of fiscal assistance. The U.S. federal budget deficit for the fiscal year ending 2021 is projected to be over $3 trillion with total debt exceeding the entire U.S. GDP.  Neither side of the political aisle seems particularly concerned about this and so the grand Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) experiment continues.  Special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) or "blank check companies" continued to have a moment as several came to market with investors in a quasi-frenzy to give them funding, while technology and growth dominated style returns in the zero interest-rate policy (ZIRP) environment.  

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Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2020 @ 10:04 AM • Post Link Share: 
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These posts were prepared by First Trust Advisors L.P., and reflect the current opinion of the authors. They are based upon sources and data believed to be accurate and reliable. Opinions and forward looking statements expressed are subject to change without notice. This information does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any security.
 PREVIOUS POSTS
Closed-end Fund Review - Third Quarter 2020
What’s Fueling the Rise in Green Energy ETFs?
Asset Flows Monitor October 2020 Edition
Asset Flows Monitor September 2020 Edition
How Have Presidential Elections Impacted Biotechnology Stocks?
Asset Flows Monitor August 2020 Edition
Factors Align For Post-Pandemic 5G Growth
Alternatives Update 2nd Quarter 2020
Navigating a Pandemic with Thematic ETFs
Asset Flows Monitor July 2020 Edition
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