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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Even Vanguard and BlackRock Slowed Down a Bit

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

November was a quieter inflows month for mutual funds and ETFs, except for money market funds. Even Vanguard and BlackRock slowed down a bit, though they still were way ahead of the pack.

Chicago-based investment research specialist Morningstar recently released its "Morningstar Direct Asset Flows Commentary: United States" report for November 2017. As in past months, Alina Lamy, senior analyst of quantitative research, penned the report. (An abridged version of the report is publicly accessible, while the full report with appendices is available to Morningstar Direct users.)

Despite the slightly slower pace, Vanguard and BlackRock continued to dominate industry net flows, with estimated November net inflows of $19.741 billion and $17.9 billion, respectively (down from October when Vanguard brought in $28.232 billion and BlackRock brought in $20.926 billion). Other big winners in November included: Pimco, $2.736 billion; SSgA, $2.629 billion; and DFA, $2.513 billion.

Proportionately, Charles Schwab climbed into first place in November among the biggest fund firms, bringing in estimated net inflows equivalent to 1.46 percent of its AUM. Other big November inflow winners on a relative basis were: BlackRock, 1.13 percent; Dreyfus, 0.8 percent; Pimco, 0.79 percent; and Guggenheim, 0.74 percent.

On the flip side, Franklin Templeton again led the industry in outflows, though with only $2.705 billion in estimated net outflows (down from $3.62 billion in October). Other big sufferers in November included: American Century, $1.014 billion; Voya, $972 million; Wells Fargo, $825 million; and Harbor, $703 million.

Proportionately, among big fund firms Northern Trust had the roughest November, with estimated net outflows equivalent to 1.29 percent of its AUM. Other big sufferers in November, proportionately, include: Voya, 1.14 percent; MainStay, 1.06 percent; Harbor, 0.99 percent; and Wells Fargo, 0.89 percent.

Industrywide, long-term, actively managed mutual funds swung back to outflows in November, suffering estimated net outflows of $5.954 billion. Passive funds' net inflows slipped to $49.401 billion (down from $71.6 billion in October). And money market funds swung back to inflows, bringing in estimated net inflows of $52.544 billion.

Within long-term, active funds, taxable bond funds again led the pack, this time with $11.886 billion in estimated net inflows. Other winning categores included: international equity, $4.401 billion; muni bonds, $1.646 billion; liquid alts, $615 million; and commodities, $80 million.

Meanwhile, also among long-term, active funds, U.S. equity funds had another rough month, suffering an estimated $17.92 billion in net November outflows (down from $18.812 billion in October). Other suffering categories included sector equity, $3.459 billion, and allocation, $3.203 billion. 

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