Monday, February 6, 2017

Where Active Fund Investors Were Flocking to & Fleeing From in 2016

We all have heard about the ongoing industry shift from Active to Passive Funds as illustrated below via Morningstar
However, despite Active funds as a whole being in net redemptions...there are still net winners and losers. Below I have highlighted the Active Mutual Funds within the largest 15 Morningstar categories with the most net inflow and most net outflows in 2016.

While this does tell you investor preference for 2016.....it also might just highlight investor short-termism. While some may have been due to legit concerns about a recent manager departure (Virtus Emerging Markets Opp and Pimco Total Return come to mind). A lot could have simply had to do with bad performance the year before in 2015. In fact, of those listed with the most outflows....11 of the 15 lost to their benchmark in 2015.

However, it seems investors may be overly focused on shorter term returns, because heading into 2016 12 of those 15 funds with the most outflows had records of 10yrs or more.....and 9 of those 12 beat their benchmarks over that timeframe. While each situation is unique, history says investors shouldn't be given the benefit of the doubt....they historically make bad timing decisions when it comes to hiring or firing managers.

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