by Tom Roseen.
For the third month in four, investors were net sellers of mutual fund assets, withdrawing $94.9 billion from the conventional funds business (excluding ETFs) for December. Investors shrugged off a Goldilocks November nonfarm payrolls report and focused on the implications of an imminent government shutdown, declining global growth, and uncertain U.S./China trade relations, pushing U.S. stocks deep into the red for the month. For the third month in a row, the fixed income funds macro-group witnessed net outflows, handing back $62.4 billion for the month. And for the eighth consecutive month, stock & mixed-asset funds witnessed net outflows (-$115.4 billion for December, their largest monthly net outflows since at least January 2008), while money market funds (+$63.1 billion, for their third consecutive month of inflows) witnessed the only net inflows of the three broad-based macro-groups in the open-end fund universe.
For the sixth month in a row, ETFs overall witnessed net inflows, taking in $50.1 billion for December—their largest monthly net inflows since January 2018. Authorized participants (APs, those investors who actually create and redeem ETF shares) were net purchasers of stock & mixed-asset ETFs, adding $35.2 billion to equity ETF coffers. And for the second consecutive month, they were net purchasers of bond ETFs—injecting $14.9 billion for December. APs were net purchasers of three of the five equity-based ETF macro-classifications: USDE ETFs (+$27.5 billion), World Equity ETFs (+$18.0 billion), and Mixed-Asset ETFs (+$609 million), while being net redeemers of Sector Equity ETFs (-$10.6 billion) and Alternatives ETFs (-$321 million). In this segment, I highlight the December fund-flows results for both types of investment vehicles.
Click here to download the December 2018 FundFlows Insight Report: Mutual Fund Investors Duck for Cover, While APs Keep the Pedal to the Metal in December.