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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One Year After Lehman, Fund Flows Are on the Rise

Reported by Daniel Tovrov

Last fall might have been a nightmare to many investors, but fund activity finally seems to be on the rise, according to a new Morningstar fund flows report.

Moving with the stock market, August saw over $50 billion of net flows into U.S. open-ended, non-money market mutual funds, the largest single-month cash inflow since February 2007.

Similarly, in the past year, non-money market open-ended funds have seen an influx of $226 billion since August 2008, and fund firms are looking forward to the possibility of finally making-up for the $251 billion retreat last fall.

However, while some confidence is returning, the initial numbers don't tell the whole story, and even with the recent market rally investors are apprehensive. 80 percent of August's flows went into bond funds (60 percent in taxable bonds, 20 percent in municipal), leaving only 20 percent for stock funds.

The big winner in the Morningstar report was PIMCO's Total Return fund, which was the best-selling fund throughout 2009. It now boasts $177.5 billion in net assets, and saw $5.5 billion of inflow in August alone. 

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