March 4, 2019

Lipper U.S. Weekly FundFlows Insight Report: Funds Record Net Positive Flows as All Asset Groups Contribute

by Pat Keon, CFA.

Lipper’s fund asset groups (including both mutual funds and ETFs) took in more than $15.9 billion in net new money for the fund-flows trading week ended Wednesday, February 27. All four asset groups recorded net positive flows for the week, led by money market funds (+$7.6 billion), while taxable bond funds, equity funds, and municipal debt funds posted net inflows of $4.3 billion, $2.3 billion, and $1.7 billion, respectively.


ETFs took in net new money of slightly more than $10.0 billion for a fourth consecutive weekly increase. The net inflows into ETFs were paced by equity ETFs (+$7.5 billion), while taxable bond ETFs and muni debt ETFs contributed $2.4 billion and $144 million, respectively, to the total net inflows. For equity ETFs, the two largest individual net positive flows belonged to broad market U.S. equity products SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT), which took in $2.0 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively. For taxable bond ETFs, the most significant net inflows belonged to iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF, +$824 million) and iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG, +$573 million).

Equity Mutual Funds

Equity mutual funds (-$5.1 billion) saw money leave their coffers for the second straight week. Both domestic equity mutual funds (-$3.2 billion) and nondomestic equity mutual funds (-$2.0 billion) recorded net negative flows. The vast majority of the peer groups for both domestic and nondomestic suffered net outflows, with the largest belonging to Equity Income Funds (-$742 million) and International Multi-Cap Value Funds (-$419 million).

Fixed Income Mutual Funds

Both the taxable bond (+$1.9 billion) and muni debt (+$1.6 billion) mutual fund groups experienced net positive flows for the week. It was the eighth straight week of net positive flows for the muni debt group and the seventh straight for taxable bond funds. Ultra-short obligation funds (USO) drove the overall net positive flows for the taxable bond funds group as they took in $1.47 billion. This is the continuation of a long-term trend, as USO funds had net inflows in 50 of the last 51 weeks for a total intake of more than $69 billion. The net positive flows for muni debt funds were fairly evenly spread out among General Muni Debt Funds (+$414 million), High Yield Muni Debt Funds (+$411 million), and Intermediate Muni Debt Funds (+$401 million).

Money Market Mutual Funds

Money market funds had net positive flows (+$7.6 billion) on the week after seeing $11.7 billion leave last week. The majority of the money market fund peer groups had net inflows for the week, paced by Lipper Institutional U.S. Government Money Market Funds (+$8.3 billion) and Lipper Money Market Instrument Funds (+$2.5 billion). Conversely, Lipper U.S. Government Money Market Funds and Lipper U.S. Treasury Money Market Funds had net outflows of $5.1 billion and $574 million, respectively.

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