ICI: Fund Assets Up in April

June 2, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Reversing a four-month cash hemorrhaging trend, the combined assets of the nation's mutual funds increased 3.5%, to $6.49 trillion in April.

April’s increase comes after a 0.03% decrease in March (See  ICI: Fund Asset Totals Dropped Again in March ).   Overall, four out of the six mutual fund asset categories showed positive cash infusions, with only money market funds recording net outflows, according to data from the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

Stock funds were the biggest gainers for the month, recording an inflow of $16.10 billion, compared with an outflow of $276 million in March.   Among the components of this category, domestic equity funds gained $12.52 billion in April and stock funds that invest overseas had a $3.58-billion inflow.

Also reversing course for stock funds was the percentage of total liquid assets that was up to 5% in April from a revised 4.7% in January.  Comparatively, April 2002 posted 5.3% of liquid assets in stock mutual funds.

The other asset gains for the month were posted by hybrid funds, taxable bond funds and municipal bond funds.   Hybrid funds were up 6.6%, or $2.71 billion, in April.   Likewise, taxable bond funds had an inflow of $25.10 billion, or 2.9%; and municipal bond funds gained $2.10 billion, or 0.6%, for the month.

However, money market funds were unable to retain their holdings, as investors pulled out cash to cover tax liabilities.    Overall, the category had an outflow of $53.7 billion in April, compared with an outflow of $32.3 billion in March. Funds offered primarily to institutions had an outflow of $23.84 billion, while funds offered primarily to individuals had an outflow of $29.86 billion for the month.

Fund Tabulation

Overall, the total number of mutual funds again showed very little gain, up to 8,242 from a revised March total of 8,223.  Funds were gained in all categories except stock funds, which lost 10 funds from its rolls.   The big gain in April was seen in taxable bond funds, which added 12.   Other gains were fairly even, with municipal bond funds gaining six, hybrid funds adding five and both money market categories accumulating three apiece.