During the most recent RRSP season, more than half of the people who purchased exchange-traded funds (ETFs) put their money into equities.

Data compiled by industry research firm ETFGI shows that Canadian ETFs gathered $1.30 billion USD* in net new assets in February 2016. Of this amount, 58% or $756 million went into equity ETFs and $427 was invested in fixed income ETFs. Commodity ETFs fell out of favour, however, and only collected $1 million of new assets during the period.

Total assets of $65 billion

As of the end of February, there were 384 ETFs available from 13 companies in Canada, holding total assets of $65 billion. ETFGI says that iShares had the highest net inflows in the month with $444 million, followed by BMO Asset Management with $400 million and Vanguard with $176 million of net inflows. Year to date, BMO remains on top with $892 million of net inflows, followed by Vanguard and PowerShares with $421 million and $172 million of net inflows respectively.

Most popular indices

Which indices are the most popular? ETFGI says that S&P Dow Jones has the largest amount of ETF/ETP assets tracking its benchmarks and accounts for 39.8% of the market. The FTSE Russell comes in second with a 25.2% share of the market, followed by Barclays with 6.8% of the market.

ETFGI points out that this is the 16th consecutive month that ETFs listed in Canada have reported net inflows.

* Note: All figures in this article measured in US dollars.