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ETF Success Found At Different Levels

When you hear talk about the ETF issuers and the industry, certainly much of it has to do with how the big ETF issuers keep getting bigger, and that while the barrier to entry for a new fund is low, the threshold for success is very high, especially for smaller players.

While much of that may be true, it’s easy to fall into the trap that success is too steep a hill to climb for most, because in fact, it can really be found at all levels of the ETF spectrum.

Of course, at the top end of the ETF League is BlackRock’s iShares brand, which should soon become the first issuer to amass $1 trillion in assets. As of the end of July, the firm had some $915 billion, nearly $100 billion more in assets under management than it had at the end of July 2015. You don’t need to be a math whiz to see that the $1 trillion mark could easily be achieved in 2017.

And Vanguard, the No. 2 ETF issuer as measured by AUM, has also had a strong past 12 months, going from roughly $477 billion to $560 billion in those same 12 months, which is a bigger percentage increase than iShares. Few would be surprised by those two examples of success. We hear about them all the time.

Size Doesn’t Matter

But the point of this piece is to shed some light on a few success stories that are not as apparent or repeated. Case in point would be Charles Schwab, which, in percentage terms, had a better...