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Origins of ETFs

ETFs are relatively new. ETF trading on U.S. exchanges started in 1993, when the American Stock Exchange created the Standard & Poor's Depository Receipts, better known as the SPDR, which tracks the S&P 500. That one fund in 1993 spawned the more than 700 funds in existence today. Figure 1.2 depicts the rapid growth in the number of ETFs in the United States.

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.2 ETFs in the United States by year

(Source: Investment Company Institute, www.icifactbook.org)

At the same time, the assets under management have also gone up to more than half a trillion dollars, as shown in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 Assets under management (billions of dollars)

(Source: Investment Company Institute, www.icifactbook.org)

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