However, the fourth quarter’s gains were not enough to overcome overall weakness for the year in the stock market, as worldwide mutual fund assets declined 3.6% in 2002. The decline for 2002 was tempered by a weak dollar, as many countries experienced much larger asset decreases measured in local currencies, according to information compiled by the Investment Company Institute (ICI) on behalf of the International Investment Funds Association. The survey was based on information collected from 37 countries.
The fourth-quarter increase in assets was broadly based, with the vast majority of countries posting higher assets and assets of all major categories of funds increasing. Largest among the gains was in the assets of balanced/mixed funds, up 6.1%. This was followed by:
- money market funds up 5.3%
- equity funds up 5.1%
- bond funds up 4.3%
For the year, the net flow of new cash to all funds was $190 billion in 2002, down from $891 billion in 2001. The largest net inflows were recorded by bonds funds ($117 billion), equity funds ($40 billion) and money market funds ($12 billion).
At the end of 2002, there were 53,040 mutual funds, up from 52, 589 at the end of 2001. By the type of fund, 43% were equity funds, 22% bond, 21% balanced/mixed and 8% money market. When broken down by region, 60% of worldwide assets were in the Americas, 30% in Europe and the remaining 10% scattered between Africa and Asia/Pacific.