Net inflows into stocks and bond funds by U.S. mutual fund investors dipped 71% in March, new research reveals.
Strategic Insight (New York, N.Y.; Stamford, Conn.; Boston, Mass.) reports that U.S. mutual fund investors “cautiously” funneled an estimated $13 billion in net inflows into stock and bond funds during March 2012 (open-end and closed-end mutual funds, excluding ETFs and funds underlying variable annuities) That marks a sharp drop from February, when investors put a net $46 billion in flows into long-term funds.
Aggregate equity mutual fund flows were a negative $2 billion in March. This was offset by net inflows of about $15 billion into bond funds, which the report notes are seen as less risky.
In total, long-term mutual funds experienced $96 billion of net inflows in 2012’s first quarter, a significant improvement over the previous quarter, which saw $23 billion in net outflows from long-term funds. The total was also up from the $87 billion in net inflows in the first quarter of 2011.
In March, domestic equity funds ended their two-month streak of net inflows by posting net outflows of $7.5 billion, the report says. The net outflows occurred despite another month of positive stock market returns.