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State Street Global Advisors Marks 25th Anniversary of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF

Traders Magazine Online News, February 7, 2018

John D'Antona Jr.

State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation (NYSE: STT),  marked the 25th anniversary of the first ever US-listed exchange traded fund (ETF), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (Symbol: SPY). Launched on January 29, 1993 with $6.5 million in assets, SPY is currently the world’s largest ETF with more than $302 billion[1] in assets and the most traded security in the world with an average daily trading volume of $25 billion.

“SPY’s launch paved the way for a breakthrough industry that has improved access to every asset class and dramatically lowered costs for investors,” said Jim Ross, chairman of State Street Global Advisors’ Global SPDR Business and a member of the team that launched SPY in 1993.  “In a relatively brief period of time, ETFs have fundamentally improved investing while amassing over $4 trillion of assets. Despite this unprecedented growth, the impact of ETFs during the next 25 years promises to be even more influential than it has been the last two-plus decades.”  

Developed in the wake of the largest single-day stock market decline in history, SPY was designed to provide investors with immediate access to a physically-backed, diversified basket of stocks. The ETF traded over one million shares on the first day of trading, and assets under management totaled $462 million by the end of 1993, $1 billion within three years of launch and $100 billion before the fund’s 20th anniversary[2].

“For a quarter century and through the volatile markets of 2001 and 2008, SPY has provided investors, advisors and institutions with unmatched access to US stocks,” said Nick Good, co-head of State Street Global Advisors’ Global SPDR Business. “While there are now more than 6,000 ETFs available to investors across the world, none offer investors the same liquidity or resilience as SPY.”

Key Facts on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF

  • SPY accounts for 28% of the ETF industry’s total average daily trading volume[3]
  • SPY is the only ETF that has traded at a penny-wide spread for more than 12 consecutive years[4]
  • SPY has outperformed 80% of active large cap managers over the last three, five and 10-year periods[5]
  • With an average daily trading volume of nearly $25 billion, SPY trades 4.7 times more than the largest security in the world by market cap[6]

For more information on SPY’s origins and impact, visit

[1] Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P. : 1/25/2018

[2] Source: State Street Global Advisors as of 12/31/17

[3] Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P. : 12/31/2017

[4] Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P. : 12/31/2017

[5] Source: Morningstar as of 12/31/2017. Over the 3, 5, and 10-year annualized returns for active funds in the Morningstar Large Cap Category (oldest shares of multi-class funds), SPY ranked in the top quintile. All rankings are based on returns after taxes on distributions that are net of all fees, maximum federal tax rate and applicable sales loads. Total universe is 258 funds for 10 years (27 out of 258 funds), 313 funds for 5 years (SPY 25 out of 313 funds), and 339 funds for 3 years (SPY 20 out of 339 funds). SPY’s 1 year peer group percentile is 24% (SPY 70 of 376 funds), also based on an annualized total return of active funds within the Morningstar Large Cap Blend Category. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Funds did not outperform for all periods.

[6] Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P. : 12/31/2017

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