Exchange-traded funds continued attracting new investors in October, though most of the month’s $7.3 billion in net inflows came from three big names, according to the National Stock Exchange.

“Despite one of the worst months on record, the ETF train keeps rolling," Mike Traynor, head of strategy at the National Stock Exchange, told

Barclays Global Investors had inflows of $3.5 billion, but saw total assets fall from $282 billion to $232 billion. State Street Global Advisors had net inflows of $3.3 billion, but saw assets drop from $169 billion to $143 billion. Vanguard had net inflows of $2.7 billion, but assets fell from $46 billion to $40 billion.

“Certainly there are products that aren't going to survive. But the latest numbers show that ETFs remain immensely popular,” Traynor said. “About $400 billion in net cash flow has come into ETFs since 2005. That's an amazing amount in less than four years.”

October had 244 ETF net inflows, but 272 net outflows. ETFs had $488.9 billion in total assets for the month, compared to $587.8 billion in September and $593.8 billion for October 2007.

By comparison, equity-focused mutual funds saw net outflows of approximately $120 billion for the year through September, while ETFs had net inflows of more than $100 billion during the same period.

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