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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

BlackRock Beat Vanguard Last Month

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Last month, for the first time in a year, someone beat Vanguard's net inflows.

Chicago-based investment research specialist Morningstar recently released its "Morningstar Direct Asset Flows Commentary: United States" report for April 2018. The report was penned by Kevin McDevitt, senior analyst. (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.

BlackRock jumped to the top of the flows pack in April with $18.614 billion in estimated net inflows. Vanguard slipped to second place with $12.361 billion in estimated net inflows, down from $14.777 billion in March. Other big winners last month included: Fidelity, $3.725 billion (up from $2.932 billion); SSgA, $3.51 billion (up from $11.21 billion in net outflows); and Schwab, $2.433 billion (up from $2.371 billion).

Proportionately, First Trust stayed on top for a third month in a row among the largest fund families, bringing in estimated net April inflows equivalent to 1.82 percent of its AUM, down from 2.84 percent in March. Other relative winners in April included: Schwab, 1.31 percent (up from 1.3 percent); BlackRock, 1.14 percent; PGIM Investments, 0.61 percent; and SSgA. 0.58 percent (up from 1.7 percent in net outflows).

On the flip side, April was another rough month for Franklin Templeton, with $2.766 billion in estimated net outflows, more than any other fund firm and up from $2.537 billion in March. Other big outflow sufferers in April included: Invesco, $1.318 billion; Columbia Threadneedle, $938 million; Wells Fargo, $838 million; and TCW, $686 million (down from $1.225 billion).

Proportionately, Harbor had the roughest April among big fund firms, with estimated net outflows equivalent to 1.02 percent of its AUM (down from 2.3 percent in March). Other big sufferers last month included: Wells Fargo, 0.96 percent (up from 0.81 percent); Ivy, 0.87 percent; Federated, 0.86 percent; and TCW, 0.81 percent (down from 1.42 percent).

Industrywide, long-term funds brought in $30.591 billion in net inflows in April, while money market funds suffered outflows of $9.029 billion, down from $54.624 billion in March.

Within long-term funds, taxable bond funds led the pack with $25.254 billion in estimated net inflows in April. Other winning categories last month included: international equity funds, $11.125 billion; U.S. equity funds, $6.557 billion; and commodities funds, $2.431 billion.

Meanwhile, sector equity funds suffered $9.098 billion in estimated net outflows in April. Other net outflows suffering categories included: allocation funds, $2.913 billion; muni bond funds, $1.61 billion; and liquid alts, $1.154 billion. 

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