Investors Return To Equity Funds As Overall Fund Inflows Hit Highest Total In Over A Year

Apr. 18, 2021 7:53 AM ETVTI, USMV, IEMG, GEM, XLF, GLD, QYLD, SH, IUSB, LQD2 Comments3 Likes
Tom Roseen profile picture
Tom Roseen


  • For the fourth consecutive month, mutual fund investors were net purchasers of fund assets, injecting $181.2 billion into the conventional funds business for March.
  • Fixed income funds (+$41.2 billion) witnessed net inflows for the eleventh month in a row, while money market funds (+$128.8 billion) experienced net inflows for the second month.
  • For the first month in three, investors were net purchasers of stock and mixed-assets funds (+$11.2 billion).
  • APs were net purchasers of ETFs, injecting $87.8 billion for March, for the nineteenth month of consecutive inflows.
  • And, for the twelfth month in a row, fixed income ETFs (+$14.2 billion for March) attracted net new money, while investors padded the coffers of stock and mixed-assets ETFs (+$73.6 billion), their thirteenth straight month of net inflows.

Wall Street-Street Sign
Photo by P_Wei/E+ via Getty Images

Investors were net purchasers of mutual fund assets for the fourth month in a row, injecting $181.2 billion into the conventional funds business (excluding ETFs, which are reviewed in the section below) for March (their largest monthly net inflows since March 31, 2020). Contributing to that record, for the first month in three, stock & mixed-assets funds experienced net inflows (+$11.2 billion) for March. Despite growing inflationary concerns and a steepening Treasury yield curve, investors continued to pad the coffers of fixed income instruments, pushing the fixed income funds macro-group to its eleventh consecutive month of net inflows, attracting $41.2 billion for March. Money market funds (+$128.8 billion) witnessed net inflows for the second consecutive month.

For the nineteenth straight month, ETFs witnessed net inflows, taking in $87.8 billion for March. Authorized participants (APs—those investors who actually create and redeem ETF shares) were net purchasers of stock & mixed-assets ETFs for the tenth consecutive month, injecting $73.6 billion into equity ETF coffers. And for the twelfth month in a row, they were net purchasers of bond ETFs—injecting $14.2 billion for the month. APs were net purchasers of four of the five equity-based ETF macro-classifications, padding the coffers of U.S. Diversified Equity ETFs (+$46.1 billion), World Equity ETFs (+$18.3 billion), Sector Equity ETFs (+$9.4 billion), and Mixed-Assets ETFs (+$28 million), while being net redeemers of Alternatives ETFs (-$210 million). Over the last three months, Stock & Mixed-Assets ETFs took in $193.9 billion and Bond ETFs attracted $42.0 billion of net new money.

In this report, I highlight the March 2021 fund-flows results and trends for both ETFs and conventional mutual funds.


This article was written by

Tom Roseen profile picture
Tom Roseen is the Head of Research Services, joining from Janus in 1996. He is the editor and an author of Lipper's U.S. Research Studies, FundFlows Insight Reports and FundIndustry Insight Reports. He is involved in fund analysis and research, and contributes to the monthly and quarterly equity and fixed income FundMarket Insight reports, webcasts and podcasts, where he focuses on domestic and world fund performance and attribution. His areas of expertise include closed-end fund analysis, portfolio evaluation, equity and fixed income fund research, fund flows analysis, after-tax performance and Lipper Leaders. Tom has a BS in finance from Metropolitan State College of Denver and a Master's in International Management from the University of Denver.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Recommended For You

Comments (2)

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.