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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Three Months Later, Active Beats Passive Again

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

For the third time in more than six years, active funds beat passive ones last month in terms of inflows. Meanwhile, passive inflows are down 61 percent in two months.

Mary Callahan Erdoes
J.P. Morgan
CEO of Asset and Wealth Management
This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on August 2020 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows in the U.S., excluding money market funds and funds of funds.

On the active side of the business, J.P. Morgan (including Six Circles) kept the lead for a second month in a row, with estimated net August active inflows of $8.959 billion, up from $5.401 billion in July. Other big August active inflows winners included: Vanguard, $6.864 billion (up from $4.548 billion); American Century, $5.382 billion (up from $3.227 billion); MFS, $3.697 billion (up from $588 million); and Morgan Stanley, $2.747 billion (up from $1.479 billion).

On the passive side of the business, BlackRock kept the lead thanks to $4.622 billion in August passive inflows, down from $18.532 billion in July. Other big August passive inflows winners included: Invesco, $4.22 billion (up from $2.089 billion); SSGA, $2.663 billion (up from $1.24 billion in net outflows); Fidelity, $2.079 billion (down from $3.31 billion); and Schwab, $1.193 billion (up from $684 million).

On the flip side, August was another rough month for Fidelity's active mutual funds, which suffered an estimated $5.543 billion in net outflows, more than any other active fund firm and up from $3.738 billion in July. Other big August active outflows sufferers included: T. Rowe Price, $3.11 billion (up from $382 million); DFA, $2.64 billion (down from $3.355 billion); Invesco, $2.168 billion (down from $2.307 billion); and Capital Group's American Funds, $1.515 billion (down from $1.754 billion).

On the passive side, ProShares/ProFunds led the outflows pack last month, suffering an estimated $1.282 billion in net August passive outflows, down from $1.022 billion in net July inflows. Other big August passive outflows sufferers included: T. Rowe, $548 million (up from $525 million); Rafferty's Direxion, $421 million (down from $1.026 billion); DFA, $178 million (up from $46 million); and Victory, $167 million (down from $183 million).

Industrywide, 702 active fund families (down from 708 in July) brought in an estimated $25.225 billion in net active inflows in August, up from $12.052 billion in July. 306 of those firms gained net active inflows in August, up from 198 in July.

139 passive fund families (down from 141 in July) brought in an estimated $16.178 billion in net passive inflows in August, down from $29.381 billion in July. 76 of those firms gained net passive inflows in August, up from 71 in July. 

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