Assets in exchange-traded funds around the world now surpass $1 trillion, soaring an astounding 45.2% from $710.9 billion at the end of 2008 to $1.032 trillion at the end of last year, BlackRock reported. By comparison, the return on the MSCI World Index in that timeframe was 27%, indicating that a good percentage of that growth was driven by inflows.

Currently, there are a total of 1,939 ETFs from 109 providers in the world trading on 40 exchanges.

Last year, many investors turned to ETFs because of their price, risk and holdings transparency, tax advantages and lower fees, BlackRock noted.

“In a world where investment products come and go with the blink of an eye, ETFs might be considered one of the most innovative financial products in the last two decades,” said Deborah Fuhr, global head of ETF research and implementation strategy at BlackRock.  “They have fundamentally changed how both institutional and retail investors construct their investment portfolios.”

Over the past decade, the global compound annual growth rate for ETFs was 56.3%. In the U.S., it was 58.1%.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.