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Rating:Despite a Shift, Passive Titans Still Dominated January Flows Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, February 26, 2018

Despite a Shift, Passive Titans Still Dominated January Flows

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The three passive mutual fund and ETF giants still dominated net flows last month, though as a group active funds did bring in positive net inflows, too.

Chicago-based investment research specialist Morningstar recently released its "Morningstar Direct Asset Flows Commentary: United States" report for January 2018. As per usual, the reported was passed by Alina Lamy, senior analyst of quantitative research. (An abridged version of the report is publicly accessible, while the full report with appendices is available to Morningstar Direct users.) This article draws on data from that report.

Vanguard started off 2018 by staying on top of the pack, bringing in an estimated $32.799 billion in net inflows in January, up nearly 52 percent from $21.591 billion in December. SSgA stayed in second place in January with $28.554 billion in estimated net inflows, up 57 percent from $18.146 billion in December. And BlackRock stayed in third place with an estimated $22.246 billion in net inflows, up 146 percent from $9.03 billion in December. Other big winners in January were Fidelity, $8.562 billion, and Capital Group's American Funds, $7.878 billion.

Proportionately, SSgA kept the lead in January among the largest fund families, bringing in estimated net inflows equivalent to 4.24 percent of its AUM. Other big January winners, proportionately, included: First Trust, 2.19 percent; Harris' Oakmark, 1.88 percent; Charles Schwab, 1.82 percent; and Guggenheim, 1.49 percent.

On the flip side, January was another rough month for Franklin Templeton, which again led the outflows pack, this time with estimated net outflows of $3.021 billion (up from $2.811 billion in December). Other big sufferers in January included: Wells Fargo, $1.978 billion; Harbor, $1.823 billion; Principal, $1.713 billion; and John Hancock, $1.074 billion.

Proportionately among big fund firms, Harbor had the roughest January, with estimated net outflows equivalent to 2.5 percent of its AUM. Other big sufferers last month included: Wells Fargo, 2.13 percent; Principal, 1.22 percent; Voya, 0.85 percent; and Franklin, 0.78 percent.

Industrywide, long-term active mutual funds brought in an estimated $24.048 billion in net inflows in January, up from $7.81 billion in net outflows in December. Money market funds inflows more than reversed, swinging to $47.881 billion in estimated net outflows in January (from $43.788 billion in net inflows in December). And passive funds brought in an estimated $104.076 billion in January, nearly doubling from $58.363 billion in December.

Within long-term active mutual funds, taxable bond funds brought in $24.398 billion in estimated net inflows in January. Other winning categories last month included: international equity funds, $14.631 billion; muni bond funds, $7.861 billion; liquid alts, $2.663 billion; commodities funds, $1.24 billion; and sector equity funds, $86 million.

Meanwhile, long-term active U.S. equity funds suffered estimated net outflows of $24.087 billion in January, up from $16.317 billion in December. And allocation funds suffered net outflows of $2.744 billion last month. 

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