Taxable bond fund demand strong - US Fund Update - March 2018 Key Trends

Active long-term funds experienced net deposits of US$2.4 billion in March, a rebound from outflows of US$11.1 billion in February. Inflows for the first quarter of 2018 totalled US$16.3 billion. Taxable Bond funds experienced the strongest investor demand among active strategies in March (US$9.9 billion) and Q1’18 (US$39.8 billion), followed by International Equity during both the month (US$4.4 billion) and the quarter (US$26.6 billion). PIMCO was the top inflow-gathering manager among active Taxable Bond funds in March at US$2.8 billion, while T. Rowe Price was the leading active International Equity provider at US$954 million.

Passive mutual funds and exchange-traded products experienced a strong rebound in March, seeing net inflows of US$13.4 billion after February’s US$479 million in net redemptions. Passive mutual funds were chiefly responsible for March’s rebound, as the segment saw net deposits of US$19.9 billion, while passive ETPs experienced net redemptions of US$6.5 billion.

Equity strategies saw the greater bifurcation among passive funds in March. International Equity was the strongest area of demand at US$9.5 billion, while US Equity funds saw the greatest outflows at US$5.4 billion. Net deposits into passive mutual funds remained positive within both International Equity (US$7.3 billion) and U.S. Equity (US$7.9 billion). Foreign Large Blend led inflows among passive International Equity categories in March at US$12.8 billion. Passive mutual funds accounted for US$7.1 billion of these net deposits, while ETPs contributed US$5.7 billion in March. Within International Equity overall, Vanguard was the highest inflow-gathering passive mutual fund manager for the month at US$5.5 billion. BlackRock led among passive ETPs at US$2.3 billion.

Money Market funds have experienced wide swings in net flows throughout 2018. The grouping saw outflows of US$49.0 billion in March, following inflows of US$42.6 billion in February and outflows of US$50.4 billion in January. Taxable Money Market funds experienced the strongest outflows at US$40.2 billion in March.