Funds Had Strong January Showing

Long-term mutual funds roared back in January with nearly $30 billion in estimated inflows, according to Morningstar’s latest data.

A Morningstar report said the January showing reversed December’s $10.6-billion outflow. U.S. stock funds led the surge with nearly $16 billion in inflows, with U.S. stock exchange-traded funds collecting another $10 billion. This is the biggest haul for open-end U.S. stock funds since February 2006 and the best January since 2004, Morningstar said. It also reverses eight consecutive months of outflows.

Conversely, nearly $76 billion fled money market funds, the majority of which left taxable funds. This was the largest money market exodus since April 2010, according to Morningstar. The municipal-bond retreat continued with about $12.5 billion in outflows, slightly less than last month’s record $13.4 billion in redemptions.

Other highlights from the Morningstar report include that: 

  • Taxable-bond funds took in $10.7 billion in January after losing $4.5 billion in December, and credit-oriented categories, led by bank-loan funds, dominated inflows to the asset class. Bank-loan funds gathered assets of $5.6 billion in January to set a second consecutive monthly inflow record and mark the six consecutive month-over-month increase. 
  • Among U.S. equity funds, actively managed funds claimed greater inflows, $10 billion, than passively managed funds, with $5.8 billion, for the first time since May 2009, and January was the fourth month during which active funds have outdrawn passive funds over the past three years.

The Morningstar data is at