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Friday, May 17, 2002

Fund Flows Keep Up As Market Falls

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Investors shoveled money to equity funds despite April being one of the worst months in the current bull market, according to early estimates. Strategic Insight pegs April flows to equity funds at $21 billion. Less optimistically Lipper reported an estimate of $14.9 billion of equity inflows for April.

Either way, the numbers were goof ones given the five percent plus decline in the S&P 500 and 11 percent collapse in the Nasdaq.

"By their actions, equity fund investors continue to display much great level of personal optimism that is shared among professional money managers and business executives", said Avi Nachmany, Strategic Insight's Director of Research. "Our customers are telling us that they feel safe to go in the water again."

Lipper analyst Don Cassidy conferred with Nachmany, noting that "inflows to equity funds showed almost remarkable resilience." He added that the strong performance of small cap and value funds is likely on reason why shareholders kept buying during the stock market downturn.

Both firms have similar estimates for flows to bond and money market funds. Strategic Insight puts bond flows at $8 billion while Lipper shows them at $7.6 billion. Lipper adds that $26.5 billion flowed out of money market funds and Strategic Insight estimates that figure at $20 billion.

The current best-selling funds are found in value, real estate and balanced objectives.  

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