Mutual fund assets slid downward for the third straight month, according to recent Cerulli Associates research.
The Cerulli Edge – U.S. Monthly Product Trends Edition, which analyzes mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) product trends as of April 2018, finds that mutual fund assets dropped 0.2% in April to close with assets totaling just more than $14.5 trillion.
The 4% growth experienced in January has been erased, with April assets coming in at less than year-end 2017.
Mutual fund assets were “dragged backward” by equity market volatility and geopolitical uncertainty, among other factors, according to Cerulli.
The only two Morningstar categories posting positive net flows were large-blend funds ($4.5 billion) and small growth funds ($743 million).
According to Cerulli, the large-blend Morningstar category continues to be a buoy for overall U.S. equity flows.
Mutual funds categorized as large blend collectively reaped net flows of $4.5 billion during April, the most of any Morningstar category. Of these net flows, passive products accounted for $7.1 billion, while active bled $2.6 billion. Just 35% of active large-blend funds witnessed positive net flows during April, with just six funds accumulating more than $100 million.
The two-largest funds in the category — both Vanguard index products — collectively account for 37% of large blend assets and 14% of all U.S. equity assets. According to Cerulli, U.S. equities have bled $33.6 billion year to date; however, excluding just these two products, outflows are more than $60 billion.