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US mutual fund inflows reach USD350bn

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Total inflows into US mutual funds reached USD350.4bn at the end of November, with USD34.6bn of these assets added during the month, according to research from Morningstar.

Exchange-traded funds had USD14.0bn in inflows in November, marking the ninth consecutive month of net inflows for the industry, bringing the year-to-date total to USD77.8bn.

Although bond funds still represent the majority of November’s inflows, investors now appear to be easing up on the fixed-income peddle, as November taxable and municipal-bond inflows dropped to USD33.5bn.

Among the equity funds, investors continued to favor foreign-equity funds over domestic-equity funds. Net flows were negative for domestic-stock funds, while foreign-equity funds received more than USD5.4bn in assets.

For five months in a row and for the eighth time in 2009, Vanguard’s combined open-end and ETF monthly flows exceeded USD10bn. Fidelity saw net outflows for the second month in a row.

Of the USD8.8bn in inflows into TCW fixed-income funds this year, USD8.4bn (96 per cent of fixed-income flows) went to the TCW Total Return Bond Fund, which was previously managed by the recently ousted Jeffrey Gundlach.

November marked the busiest month so far in 2009 for ETF providers in terms of new product launches with 24 new ETFs introduced to the market, bringing the year-to-date total to 116 new ETF launches.

Following another strong month for emerging-markets ETFs, the international-equity category brought in USD4.0bn, the most among the broad asset classes.

ETF investors made bullish bets on the dollar, funneling USD1.1bn into currency ETFs in November and USD2.3bn year to date.

Investors were placing bearish bets last month, as evidenced by the USD1.0bn in net inflows for inverse ETFs for a year-to-date total of USD19.9bn.

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