State Street Global Advisors today marked the twentieth anniversary of the first exchange traded fund, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by reminiscing on the early years of the ETF.

SPY: The Idea That Spawned an Industry is a look back at how a $6.5 million fund evolved into the world’s largest ETF with more than $123 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.

“The creation of SPY started an industry that has provided countless institutional and individual investors with improved access to virtually all areas of the market,” stated Greg Ehret, chief operating officer at SSgA.

“The way in which various investors construct portfolios is very different today than it was 20 years ago due in part to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF and the industry that was created by its launch. With global ETF asset growth averaging 27% per year, it’s clear ETFs will remain an influential investment product for years to come.”

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