Mon, 31 Aug 2015
Late August provided a stress-test.
As yields rose, both taxable- and municipal-bond funds saw record monthly redemptions in absolute terms in June.
Investors have been putting money back into bond funds as interest rates have unexpectedly dropped this year.
Money has been quickly pouring in to and out of risk assets in the bond markets recently, making for a volatile ride.
Equity funds have experienced outflows over the last five years, but the exodus is not as extreme as it's portrayed.
September and third-quarter asset-flows data show that investors remain cautious of interest-rate risk and a fully valued stock market, and instead prefer nontraditional bonds and foreign equities.
ETF and open-end asset flows combined show a strong preference for bonds, emerging markets, and passive funds, while active U.S. stock fund managers and money market funds have suffered the brunt of outflows.
Although investors may remain broadly skeptical of equity markets, asset flow data suggest they could be taking more risk than expected in other asset classes.
The fund giant saw an executive-management shuffle, ultra-short-bond fund launch, new lower-touch advisory service, and continued inflow domination.
Market gains have been the only driver of equity AUM growth for most of the asset managers.
Short-term bond funds offer better rates than many money markets but also may carry higher risk.
Morningstar's Christine Benz provides some useful tips for those getting their feet wet in fixed-income investing.
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