Eight of the nine major equity fund groups tracked by EPFR Global posted outflows during the week ending Oct. 5, the research group said Friday, as did six of the seven major fixed-income fund groups and five of the nine major sector fund groups that include ETFs.
Overall, equity funds recorded collective net redemptions of $11.57 billion, their third worst weekly tally year-to-date, while bond and money-market funds posted outflows of $2.65 billion and $5.84 billion respectively. Such movement is a continuation of third-quarter trends.
Lipper said that its preliminary fund-flows numbers indicate that equity mutual fund investors were net redeemers of equity-fund assets in the third quarter, taking out about $55.4 billion from the conventional funds business (excluding ETFs), the group reported Sept. 30. Plus, despite the recent flight to safety, they purchased only $1.3 billion of taxable fixed-income funds during the period while redeeming $0.7 billion from the muni-bond fund group $69.4 billion from money-market funds.
“The equity funds universe has suffered five consecutive months of downside performance in 2011, with each follow-on month posting progressively worsening returns,” Tom Roseen, head of research for Lipper, explained in a report. July’s returns were -2.05%, followed by -7.04% in August and -9.72% in September decline. “All in all, it was a quarter we will gladly put behind us,” the analyst noted.
For the quarter, the mixed-equity funds macro-group moved down -10.08%; the category includes mainly lifecycle funds, such as target-date and target-allocation funds with a mix of stocks and bonds. Through the end of August, this macro-group attracted the largest amount of positive net flows in the equity-fund universe—some $63.5 billion of the $80.6 billion of net inflows, according to Lipper. (World-equity funds had $36.4 billion of net inflows in the same timeframe.)
Quarterly returns for mixed-equity funds ranged from -2.86% for absolute-return funds to -15.94% for target 2045 funds.