While there has been rapid growth in U.S. ETFs over the last few years, there has been almost exponential growth of these products worldwide. “It further illustrates how ETFs are becoming mainstream, allowing advisors from around the world access to low cost investing,” says Vanguard spokesman David Hoffman.

“The number and variety of products is really increasing dramatically. And so is the amount of assets flowing into them,” says Luke Dean of William Patterson University’s financial planning program.

Dean notes the following key trends:

  • From 1999-2003 assets were flowing into ETFs but producers/competitors still hadn't responded by adding more offerings.
  • From 2004-2007, producers added a few more offerings and even more assets poured in.
  • After the crisis (and even during the crisis) producers started adding rapidly to their ETF offerings domestically and even more dramatically in their foreign ETF offerings. ETF assets are flowing in at almost $1 trillion per year.

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