Despite charges of market timing and late trading that plagued some of the largest mutual fund companies in the U.S. last year, investors are still parking their investment dollars in the nation’s mutual funds, according to a survey released by the Investment Company Institute this week.
Combined assets of the funds increased by $97 billion, or 1.3 percent, to $7.6 trillion in February.
However, new infusions to stock funds in February softened considerably from the inflows seen in January as equity markets put in a lackluster performance, according to the data. Stock, bond, and hybrid funds collectively had net inflows of $32.7 billion in February, down sharply from $48.2 billion in January.
Specifically, stock funds gained $26.2 billion in February, down from inflows of $43 billion in January. Investments in domestic stock funds were about half of what they were in January, seeing inflows of $18.1 billion in February, compared with $31.5 billion in January. International stock funds also suffered relative to the month before, registering an inflow of $8.1 billion in February, down from $11.5 billion a month earlier.
Conversely, bond funds enjoyed $1.5 billion in new cash in February, more than reversing January’s performance when $318 million was withdrawn. Taxable bond funds had inflows of $922 million with municipal bond funds up by $538 million, the data showed.
Money market funds continued to suffer in the low interest-rate environment, posting outflows of $21 billion in February, on top of withdrawals of $19.8 billion a month earlier. Individual investors withdrew $9 billion from funds in February while institutions drew down funds by $12 billion.