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Thursday, March 20, 2003

Shareholders Pull Assets

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

March is on pace to become the fourth month running in which fund investors pull assets from equity. Midway through the month investors had pulled nearly $7 billion from equity funds and barring a quick end to the hostilities in Iraq the trend is likely to deepen.

Lipper said this morning that shareholders took $8 billion from funds in February. Lipper had reported $1 billion of outflows in January. All together funds shareholders yanked more money than they paid out during the month. Bond added a net $19.0 billion during February, Lipper said. However, those flows were more than offset by the $43.0 billion that drained from money market funds, Lipper said. Those number add up to a net withdrawal of $32 billion

Meanwhile, Santa Rosa, California-based Trim Tabs estimates that shareholders are on pace to pull $13.4 billion based on activity through March 18. Trim Tabs bases its estimates on a limited number of funds and estimates weekly flows. Unlike Lipper and the ICI that collect data for fund firms, Trim Tabs calculates its flows as a barometer of demand for and sells it to equity investors.  

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