Equity mutual funds roared back to life in early January after a brutal year in which they lost nearly $160 billion in outflows, according to the latest statistics from the Investment Company Institute. For the week ended Jan. 16, equity mutual funds attracted an estimated $9.32 billion in inflows, down from the previous week’s huge $14.33 billion inflow but nearly three times greater than last year’s record $3.52 billion inflow in early February. 

The $9.32 billion inflow was evenly split between U.S. and foreign stock funds, with U.S. funds taking in $5.05 billion and foreign stocks taking the remaining $4.27 billion.

Bond funds managed to outshine stock funds but not by much. For the week ended Jan. 16, bond funds drew estimated inflows of $10.60 billion, up 12% from $9.42 billion the previous week.  Of the $10.60 billion, $8.36 billion went to taxable bond funds with the remaining $2.24 billion going to municipal bond funds.

Hybrid funds — those that invest in both stocks and fixed income securities — also posted an inflow, drawing an estimated $2.12 billion.  

All told, mutual funds attracted an estimated $22.04 billion for the week, down from the $26.55 billion they took in a week earlier but significantly better than last year’s record inflow of $13.18 billion.

The weekly fund flow estimates are derived from data covering more than 95% of industry assets, according to ICI.  The statistics cover long-term mutual funds, those the ICI defines as investing in long-term instruments.

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