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Monday, June 4, 2018

Wealthfront's Flows Nearly Triple

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

A roboadvisor's mutual fund inflows accelerated dramatically in April.

The information within this article draws from Morningstar Direct data on April 2018 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, specifically for the smallest fund firms (those with under $1 billion in mutual fund AUM).

Wealthfront's sole mutual fund brought in an estimated $441 million in net inflows in April, more than any other fund family with less than $1 billion in AUM and up from $161 million in March. Other big winners in April included: Summit Global Investments, $107 million (up from $31 million in March); Altair, $99 million (up $1 million in outflows); Hood River, $69 million (up from $24 million); and GQG, $59 million (up from $33 million).

On a relative basis, setting aside apparent newcomers, PPTY led the smallest fund firms, with estimated net inflows in April equivalent to 90.48 percent of its AUM. Other big winners in April included: Marmont, 80.88 percent (up roughly no net flows in March); Wealthfront, 72.03 percent (down from 91.56 percent); Innovation Shares, 47.78 percent (up from 7.59 percent); and Summit, 37.13 percent (up from 17.56 percent).

There are also four apparent newcomers (i.e. firms where their AUM was roughly equal to their monthly net inflows) in April. Those firms were: Abbey, Belpointe Asset Management, JVIF, and Powell Capital.

On the flip side, April was a rough month for Hamlin Funds, which suffered an estimated $69 million in net outflows, more than any other fund firm with less than $1 billion in AUM and up from $8 million in March. Other big sufferers in April included: Wright, $57 million (up from $2 million in March); Cambria, $45 million (down from $36 million in net inflows); Polaris, $35 million (up from $6 million); and Oak Ridge, $25 million (down from $36 million).

Proportionately, Wright led the outflows pack among the smallest firms, with estimated net outflows equivalent to 160.64 percent of its AUM by the end of April (meaning the outflows were bigger than the AUM left in the funds when the month was over). Other big sufferers included: FX Strategy, 20.46 percent (up from 1.54 percent in March); Event Shares, 18.79 percent (up from 8.88 percent); Harvest Volatility, 18.64 percent (down from 0.13 percent in net inflows); and Day Hagan, 16.69 percent (up from 7.68 percent).

As a group, fund families with less than $1 billion in AUM (each) brought in an estimated $974 million in net inflows in April, equivalent to 1.05 percent of their combined AUM. That's up from $604 million in March.

M* recently released a report about industrywide flows, and MFWire highlighted the biggest winners and losers among the largest fund firms. Across the whole industry, long-term funds brought in $30.591 billion in net inflows in April, while money funds suffered outflows of $9.029 billion. Within long-term funds, taxable bond funds, international equity funds, U.S. equity funds, and commodities funds all had net inflows, while sector equity funds, allocation funds, muni bond funds, and liquid alts all suffered net outflows. 

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