Oct. 24, 2002 — Investors fled stock mutual funds for the fourth consecutive month in September and continued to seek safety in bond funds, according to Financial Research Corp.

Domestic stock funds suffered net outflows of $9.5 billion last month, while bond funds took in $12.8 billion, the Boston-based financial services company estimated.

Pacific Investment Management Co. was the top-selling fund complex last month, garnering $2.7 billion, and the PIMCO Funds:Total Return Fund/A (PTTAX), with inflows of $1.7 billion, was the best selling fund.

Among fund companies, Vanguard Group ranked second in monthly inflows with $2.5 billion, followed by American Funds with $1.7 billion.

The Evergreen Adjustable Rate/A (ESAAX), with inflows of $834 million, was the second best selling fund in September. It was trailed by Vanguard GNMA (VFIIX), which gathered $667 million.