Mutual fund investors focused on overseas stock markets last year, pouring more than twice as much money into international and global equity funds as those that buy U.S. companies, according to Financial Research Corp.

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that buy foreign stocks raked in $158. 6 billion in 2005, while domestic equity funds attracted $76.6 billion, the Boston-based company said on January 26.

Bond funds proved less popular with investors, recording overall inflows of $21.8 billion for the year. Corporate bond funds netted $21 billion, and municipal bond funds took in $3.5 billion, but funds that invest in government bonds suffered outflows of $2.7 billion.

American Funds was the top selling fund complex in 2005, capturing $78.8 billion. Vanguard Group trailed with inflows of $45.6 billion. Barclays Global Investors, an ETF powerhouse, took third place, drawing $42.8 billion in new money.

American’s Growth Fund of America (AGTHX) was the year’s best selling fund, netting nearly $18 billion. It was followed by two other American Funds, the Capital World Growth and Income Fund/A (CWGIX), which took in $15 billion, and the Capital Income Builder Fund/A (CAIBX), which saw inflows of $14.9 billion.

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