Investors came storming back into mutual funds in early March, according to fund flow statistics released today from the Investment Company Institute. Fund flows into long-term mutual funds totaled $12.09 billion for the week ended March 7, more than double the previous week’s mark of $5.4 billion. In fact, it was the highest total since the week ended February 8, one month ago, according to ICI’s statistics.
One thing that has not changed, though, is investors’ hunger for safety. Of the $12.09 billion total inflow, fully 89% (or $10.7 billion) made its way into fixed-income funds. And of that amount, the vast majority ($9 billion) was invested in taxable bond funds while the remaining $1.7 billion was put into muni funds.
Conversely, equity funds saw cash outflows for the week. Overall, investors pulled $126 million from equity funds. That compares to an outflow of $2.8 billion the previous week, but it doesn’t paint the full picture without knowing the polar opposite results in domestic funds and foreign funds. Continuing the pattern from recent weeks, domestic U.S. funds lost $1.4 billion in outflows, while foreign funds picked up $1.3 billion in new investor money.
Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks or bonds, had inflows of $1.48 billion for the week, down slightly from $1.65 billion the previous week.
The weekly flow estimates are derived from data covering more than 95% of industry assets, according to ICI.