The ETF Flowdown: Q1 2024

Talk about a friendly market. Not even an uptick in inflation or lofty stock valuations could keep the bulls at bay in the first quarter. The S&P 500 clung to record highs and notched its strongest first quarter since 2019. Markets rode out a decisive uptrend, though the moves were fairly “fat and flat” (broadly higher but still range-bound). Here are some of the more popular ETFs in the first quarter.

Staying in the Game

It should come as no surprise that big, broad-based index equity ETFs managed to come out on top. Investors looking to either get a taste of the rally or maintain exposure scooped up the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) – which topped the charts at #1 with nearly $24 billion in inflows. The iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) was not far behind. Lots of love shown for large-cap darlings like Microsoft, Apple, NVIDIA, JPMorgan Chase, and Visa. But small-cap equity ETFs were less popular – with net outflows in funds like the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (IWM).

Getting More Cost-Conscious?

Also making the top 10: the SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 ETF (SPLG). Of all the major cap-weighted S&P 500 ETF offerings, SPLG is by far the smallest – with only $33 billion in total assets. But it is also the cheapest – with an expense ratio of 0.02% – indicating investors have grown more cost-conscious in 2024. Both the VOO and IVV charge 0.03% each, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) stands strong at 0.09%.

SPY has seen net outflows for the year – though it was a big winner in March, with roughly $18 billion in net inflows.

Top 10 ETFs by YTD 2024 Net Flows Excluding Leveraged and Inverse Funds)