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Monday, January 28, 2019

Active Outflows Dwarf Passive Inflows

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Passive funds' inflows rose slightly last month, but active funds' outflows more than doubled.

This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on open-end mutual fund and ETF flows (excluding money market funds and funds of funds) from December 2018.

During a rough month for active fundsters, there were a few winners ... but none surpassed $500 million in net inflows. Baillie Gifford led the active side with an estimated $430 million in net December inflows, up from $6 million in November. Other big active inflow winners in December included: Southeastern Asset Management's Longleaf, $335 million (up from $853 million in net outflows); Morningstar, $302 million (down from $645 million); Akre, $241 million (up from $76 million); and First Trust, $235 million (down from $715 million).

The passive winners surpassed the active ones by two orders of magnitude. BlackRock led the passive pack with an estimated $350.057 billion in net December inflows, up from $25.962 billion in November. Other big passive inflow winners in December included: Vanguard, $17.52 billion (up from $14.4042 billion); Fidelity, $7.802 billion (up from $7.278 billion); Schwab, $3.548 billion (up from $2.751 billion); and J.P. Morgan, $2.309 billion (up from $893 million).

On the flip side, December was a rough month for Capital Group's American Funds, which suffered an estimated $8.86 billion in net active outflows, more than any other fund firm and up from $721 million in November. Other big December outflows sufferers on the active side included: Vanguard, $6.1 billion (up from $3.719 billion); T. Rowe Price $5.473 billion (up from $1.467 billion); Pimco, $5.352 billion (up from $2.686 billion); and Fidelity, $5.194 billion (up from $3.498 billion).

Among passive players, Invesco suffered an estimated $1.949 billion in net December outflows, more than any other passive firm and up from $126 million in November. Other big passive outflows sufferers in December included: First Trust, $1.118 billion (up from $438 million); ProShares and ProFunds, $687 million (down from $4 million in net inflows); Northern Trust (including FlexShares), $643 million (up from $235 million); and Credit Suisse, $488 million (down from $187 million in net inflows.

Industrywide, 721 active fund firms suffered a combined $142.26 billion in net December outflows, up from $57.32 billion in November. 152 passive firms gained a combined $59 billion in net December inflows, up from $55.877 billion in November.

Inflows were concentrated on both sides of the industry. Of 721 fund firms with active fund flows in December, only 193 (26.8 percent) gained net inflows. On the passive side, fo 152 firms with passive flows in December, only 58 (38.2 percent) gained net inflows. 

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