Positive 2015 Fund Flows Despite Sluggish December

New data from Strategic Insight shows long-term mutual funds and ETFs attracted $158 billion of net new investment in 2015, despite $40 billion of outflows in December.

Strategic Insight’s (SI) monthly fund product flow reporting for December 2015 shows equity funds netted $113 billion during the year—with $203 billion of inflows to international equity offsetting $90 billion of net redemptions from U.S. stock funds.

According to SI, assets in equities, hybrid products, and alternatives totaled $10.1 trillion by year-end 2015. During the year, $44 billion of inflows to fixed-income strategies was split between taxable ($24 billion) and tax-free ($20 billion) bond fund products.  

“Monthly flows to taxable bond funds were mixed during the year before outflows accelerated at year-end, with $28.2 billion of net redemptions in December,” SI explains. “As of December 2015, assets in bond funds totaled $3.7 trillion.”

Calendar-year returns for major U.S. stock indices were also mixed for the year, and as a result average U.S. equity fund returns were relatively flat, at -0.55%. International stock indices were mostly negative on the year, SI finds, as international equity strategies in aggregate averaged -3.30%. Tax-free bond funds, on the other hand, led calendar year returns among broad asset classes, generating a 3.03% average return.

Net deposits to money market funds totaled $35 billion in December, SI concludes. With annual net intake of $15.5 billion, money market assets totaled $2.6 trillion as of December 2015.

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