Major Funds Improved 9% in September, 12% in Q3

Top fund-groups topping analysts' estimates for the third quarter of 2010.

The KBW Fund Performance Tracker found that equity funds for the 21 asset managers it followed were up about 9.1% in September and roughly 12.2% in the third quarter. Fixed-income returns rose about 1.0% on average in September and 4.0% in 3Q.

“This suggests Q3 investment returns are well ahead of the assumptions used in our current EPS forecast,” said the report authors Robert Lee and Larry Hedden, CFA, of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods in the firm’s October 1 report.

Returns of iShares ETFs for the S&P 500, MSCI EAFE, and MSCI Emerging Markets indices were 8.8%, 10.0%, and 11.8%, respectively, in September and 11.3%, 18.1%, and 20.0%, respectively, in 3Q.

In terms of fund families, third-quarter equity returns were best at AllianceBernstein and Artio, with asset-weighted returns of +16.3% and +15.3%, respectively, helped by a heavy weighting toward global/international products.

Fixed-income fund returns were positive on average at roughly 1.0% in September and 4.0% in the third quarter.

“If equity markets can hold onto or extend their recent gains, this could help moderate the pace of equity fund outflows over the next month or so,” wrote Lee and Hedden. “In that scenario it is even possible equity flows could turn modestly positive, at least until the typical end-of-year holiday slowdown kicks in around Thanksgiving.”

The Fund Tracker only measures investment performance of U.S.-domiciled mutual funds, not all funds in each manager's asset base.

Some popular fund families and their fund performance for 2010 through September 30 are as follows:

  • Eaton Vance High Income Opportunities, 10.5%
  • Federated Strategic Income, 10.5%
  • Invesco Gold & Precious Metals, 22.1%
  • Invesco Real Estate, 15.9%
  • iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury Bonds, 14.3%
  • iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund, 8.6%
  • T. Rowe Emerging Markets & Mediterranean, 16.2%
  • T. Rowe Latin America, 9.9%
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