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FRC Says $45 Billion Flowed Into Equity, Fixed Income Mutual Funds in April

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Investors put nearly $45 billion into stock and bond funds in April, according to Financial Research Corporations latest study, which was released late Thursday. Equity-focused funds had net inflows of $15.4 billion, while those with a corporate objective had  $14.0 billion in net inflows.

SPDR S&P 500 ETF attracted $2.7 billion in May to lead the fund sales chart, FRC reports, followed by Powershares QQQ Trust with $2.1 billion, iShares MSCI Emerging Market with $1.8 billion and the Templeton Global Bond Fund with $1.7 billion. (FRC’s research includes exchange traded funds and excludes money market funds in its universe of mutual funds. Fund-of-funds are included in most data but are excluded from firm and industry-level totals.)

The top net flows in April by Morningstar category are diversified emerging markets with $4.7 billion, intermediate-term bonds with $4.4 billion, large-blend funds with $4.3 billion, multi-sector bonds with $3.3 billion and world bonds with $3.3 billion.

In terms of total assets, Vanguard remains the largest fund complex with $1.52 trillion, followed by American Funds with $1.03 trillion and Fidelity with $953.9 billion.

Year to date, Vanguard’s assets are up 9.6%, American Funds’ 8.3% and Fidelity’s 18.2%. State Street Global Advisors’ assets have grown more than 33% in the first four months of 2011, while Dimensional Fund Advisors’ are up 30% in the same period.

ETF May Flows

Early Friday, IndexUniverse reported that outflows from U.S.-listed exchange-traded products were close to $1 billion in May, with redemptions concentrated in equities and commodities.

Including the market's losses in May, assets fell about 2% to $1.12 trillion. Outflows from U.S. equities totaled $4.33 billion, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) losing some $4.9 billion in assets.

Flows out of commodities meanwhile amounted to $3.85 billion, with the iShares Silver Trust's  (SLV)  assets falling 28%, including a 20% drop in its price.

Flows into fixed-income exchange-traded funds were more than $5 billion in May and offset some of the flows from equities and commodities. Among bond funds, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) was the third-most popular fund in May, with close to $850 million in new money.