CHICAGO, April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today reported estimated U.S. mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) asset flows for March 2017. In March, investors put $31.1 billion into U.S. equity passive funds, up from $29.1 billion in February 2017. On the active side, investors pulled $18.6 billion out of U.S. equity funds during the month, as opposed to $8.9 billion in the previous month. In total for both active and passive funds, U.S. equity has had positive flows for the fifth consecutive month. Morningstar estimates net flow for mutual funds by computing the change in assets not explained by the performance of the fund and net flow for ETFs by computing the change in shares outstanding.
Highlights from Morningstar's report about U.S. asset flows in March:
- Taxable-bond funds attracted the highest total inflows among category groups of $38.1 billion in March. Flows were almost evenly distributed between active and passive taxable-bond funds, underlining that in fixed income, as opposed to equity, active management is alive.
- International-equity flows have been positive for four consecutive months, indicating renewed investor interest toward diversification overseas. Investors prefer passive international-equity funds, which attracted $20.6 billion in March, while their active counterparts sustained $2.9 billion in outflows.
- Commodities saw $384 million in outflows from precious-metals funds following a drop in gold prices, which later recovered.
- The three top-flowing Morningstar Categories in March were unchanged since last month: intermediate-term bond, large blend, and foreign large blend. For intermediate-term bond, active inflows surpassed passive with $10.9 billion and $7.5 billion, respectively. The high-yield bond category saw the largest outflows of $7.5 billion on the active side and $1.1 billion on the passive side.
- Among top U.S. fund families, PIMCO had inflows of $4.0 billion, surpassing Vanguard in terms of active flows. Vanguard saw inflows of $1.8 billion on the active side and was the top fund family on the passive side, with inflows of $36.2 billion.
- Providing a sharp contrast to the predicament of active equity managers, all five top-flowing funds in March were bond funds. In addition to PIMCO Income, which has a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Silver, fixed-income funds including Bridge Builder Core Bond Fund, Bronze-rated Prudential Total Return Bond, T. Rowe Price New Income Fund, and Gold-rated Dodge & Cox Income attracted more than $1.0 billion each.
- Gold-rated Vanguard Institutional Index Fund was the passive fund with the worst outflows of $2.6 billion last month. On the active side, two J. P. Morgan funds, JPMorgan High Yield Fund and JPMorgan Short Duration Bond Fund, landed in the bottom-flowing five in March with respective outflows of $1.7 billion and $1.3 billion.
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About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $200 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2016. The company has operations in 27 countries.
Morningstar's Manager Research Group consists of various wholly owned subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC. Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar's Manager Research Group's current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause such expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Analyst Ratings are not guarantees nor should they be viewed as an assessment of a fund's or the fund's underlying securities' creditworthiness. This press release is for informational purposes only; references to securities in this press release should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities.
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SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.