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Rating:And the March Fund Flows Victory Goes to ... a Roboadvisor? Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, May 02, 2018

And the March Fund Flows Victory Goes to ... a Roboadvisor?

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A roboadvisor dominated net inflows among the smallest mutual funds in March.

The information within this article draws from Morningstar Direct data on March 2018 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows.

Wealthfront's new, sole mutual fund brought in an estimated $161 million in net inflows in March, more than any other fund family with less than $1 billion in AUM and up from $15 million in February. Other big winners in March included: Mirae, $57 million (up from $19 million in February); Kaizen, $53 million (up from $7 million); InsightShares, $49 million (up from $1,115) ; and Deer Park, $48 million (up from $9 million).

On a relative basis, setting aside apparent newcomers, Wealthfront also led the smallest fund firms, with estimated net inflows in March equivalent to 91.56 percent of its AUM. Other big winners last month, proportionately, included: InsightShares, 91.11 percent; Heitman, 73.05 percent; BOON, 60.0 percent; and KKM, 35.91 percent.

There were also two apparent newcomers (i.e. firms where their AUM was roughly equal to their monthly net inflows) in March. Those firms were: ETF Managers Capital and PPTY.

On the flip side, March was a rough month for IronBridge, which suffered an estimated $143 million in net outflows, more than any other fund firm with less than $1 billion in AUM and up from $33 million in February. Other big sufferers in March included: Context, $106 million (up from $7 million in February); Oak Ridge, $36 million (up from $8 million); Advisors Preferred, $36 million (up from $9 million); and Castle, $32 million (down from $1 million in net inflows).

Proportionately, LJM led the outflows pack among the smallest firms, with estimated net outflows equivalent to 274.29 percent of its AUM by the end of March (meaning the outflows were bigger than the AUM left in the funds when the month was over). Other big sufferers, proportionately, included: Context, 111.6 percent; IronBridge, 35.45 percent; NorthPointe, 34.08 percent; and Spouting Rock, 33.45 percent.

As a group, fund families with less than $1 billion in AUM, each, brought in an estimated $604 million in net inflows in March, equivalent to 0.66 percent of their combined AUM. That's up from $10 million in net outflows in February.

M* recently released a report about industrywide flows, with a familiar new author, and MFWire highlighted the biggest winners and losers among the largest fund firms. Across the whole industry, long-term active mutual funds brought in an estimated $1.178 billion in net inflows in March, while money funds suffered $54.264 billion in net outflows and passive funds brought in $12.178 billion in net inflows. Within long-term active funds, taxable bond funds, international equity funds, muni bond funds, liquid alts, and commodities funds all had net inflows, while U.S. equity funds, allocation funds, and sector equity funds suffered net outflows. 

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