Skip to Content
ETF Specialist

The Top 10 ETF and Indexing Stories of 2019

This year put an exclamation point at the end of a decade marked by the ascendance of indexing and ETFs.

The past 10 years have been marked by the ascendance of indexing. At the onset of the decade, index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds held a combined $1.6 trillion of investors' assets. This represented 20% of all money invested in U.S. mutual funds and ETFs. At the end of November 2019, assets in ETFs and index mutual funds had risen to $8.2 trillion, amounting to nearly 41% of total fund assets. Here, I share 10 top stories from a year that put an exclamation point at the end of an eventful decade in the realm of indexing and ETFs.

1. The Year of Zero
2019 was the year of zero in ETFs. It began with the launch of the first zero-fee ETFs and ended with commissions for ETF trades being zeroed out. To the extent that this has resulted in significant cost savings for investors, this is something to celebrate. But there is still work to be done. Fund fees can fall even further, and as they come down, investment costs are creeping into other corners--some of which are dimly lit. In this article, I shine a light on some of those areas.