The Low-Cost Leviathan's Growth Slows, But ...
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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The Low-Cost Leviathan's Growth Slows, But ...

The growth of the mutual fund industry's low-cost leviathan is slowing, but it's still on top.

Mortimer J. Buckley
President, CEO
Last year Vanguard brought in $232 billion in net inflows in 2018 according to the company's preliminary estimates, the Financial Times reports. That, according to the paper, puts the mutually-owned mutual fund firm on top of the pack in terms of net inflows for the seventh year in a row, despite a 38-percent drop from its record 2017 net inflows of $371.9 billion. As noted last week, it looks like another passive titan was also behind its 2017 numbers last year.

"The rise of passives is flushing out mediocrity," Amin Rajan, chief executive of Create Research, tells the FT. "Active managers face epochal challenges to raise their game."

Tim Buckley, CEO of Vanguard, says that investors "have been more conservative over the past 18 months, taking risk off the table and moving into bond and money-market funds." He also pushes back against claims that indexing is too concentrated in too few players.

"Index funds remain a small percentage of the overall market. We remain far away from ownership concentration levels by index tracking funds that would be a cause for concern," Buskley says. "It is wrong to start to worry about issues that may not come to pass."

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