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If the flow of investors’ cash into Vanguard last year – a record $277 billion – constituted a revenue stream, it would have qualified as the second largest company in the U.S., behind only Walmart. It also was more than the inflows of the next 16 investment managers combined. (Vanguard itself reported annual inflows of $305 billion, but that included some money that fell outside our parameters of domestic open-end mutual funds and ETFs; the data we used, as usual, came from Morningstar.)

Vanguard’s record rake was an extreme example of the general trend last year of a rush for more passive investments. Indeed, the top three fund families, rounded out by BlackRock and State Street, also focus on ETFs.

BlackRock, a distant second, drew $99 billion in 2016. Often listed as the largest asset manager in the world, BlackRock is listed here as having just $1.4 trillion in assets given our parameters.

To be sure, other well-known names in this space aren’t listed here at all since this is ranked on one-year flow data and not total AUM. For instance, T. Rowe Price had an outflow of $4.5 billion in 2016, according to Morningstar’s data. PIMCO had an outflow of $15 billion; Fidelity had an outflow of $23 billion; and Franklin Templeton had the biggest annual outflow of $42 billion.

Scroll through to see the biggest inflows of 2016.


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