Jan. 26, 2005 — American Funds took in more money than any other domestic fund family last year, topping rivals like giants Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group.

American Funds took in an estimated $83.7 billion of the $242.1 billion that investors sent to the largest 25 U.S. fund families in 2004, according to Financial Research Corp.

Eight of the 20 best selling funds last year were American funds, including the top five sellers. Heading the list was Growth Fund of America, which garnered about $20 billion.

Vanguard, the largest U.S. fund company, according to FRC data, attracted $51.3 billion in 2004, trailing only American Funds, while Fidelity, the second-largest fund complex, netted about $22.6 billion. Barclays Global Investors, one of the two largest providers of exchange-traded funds, placed third among the best selling families, attracting $43.8 billion.

Among the best selling funds last year, American Balanced, which saw inflows of about $13 billion, ranked No. 2. It was followed by Capital Income Builder ($10.9 billion); Capital World Growth and Income Fund($9.95 billion); and Income Fund of America ($9.1 billion).

In the last month of the year, funds and ETFs that invest in domestic stocks took in $11.7 billion in new cash, and those that buy foreign equities netted $16.5 billion.

Among fixed-income investments, corporate bond funds and ETFs garnered $2.1 billion in December, but funds that invest in government bonds saw outflows of $794 million, and municipal bond funds lost $1.2 billion.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.