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Mutual Funds

Aug 04 2023

Research Preview: Is Buy-Write The Right Buy?

  • Aug 4, 2023

Many investors appreciate the benefit of covered-call strategies, but we wonder how many truly understand the opportunity costs of buy-write funds over time—or under differing conditions. On the surface, these approaches are simple, but they have complicated payoff patterns relative to stock and bond funds.

Feb 06 2023

Active Managers Embrace The Bear

  • Feb 6, 2023

The fourth quarter of 2022 saw broadly positive equity-market performance with the S&P 500 returning +7.6%, the Russell 1000 Mid Cap Index at +7.2%, and the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index gaining 6.2%. Strong returns usually present a headwind for active managers, but the fourth quarter proved productive for actively managed funds.

Aug 05 2017

Actively Bearish, Passively Bullish?

  • Aug 5, 2017

Relative performance of active and passive mutual funds is one of the leading story lines in our industry, with passive’s recent advantage leading some to argue that it will be the dominant style forevermore. We disagree, and believe that the active/passive relationship has been, and always will be, cyclical.

Sep 09 2015

Expect A "Round Trip" In Sentiment

  • Sep 9, 2015

When the “most hated bull market on record” finally suffers a steep decline, it’s reasonable to expect that the hatred might evolve into true revulsion.

Jun 05 2015

Cash Left The Sidelines Long Ago

  • Jun 5, 2015

The “cash on the sidelines” is a Supply/Demand argument that we’ve struggled with even in the most bullish of times; every purchase of a security is matched with a sale. But even taking the argument at face value, current holdings of retail investors and mutual fund managers suggest that the cash left the sidelines long ago.

Jan 08 2014

A Shift In Fund Flow Trends Holds Through Latter Half Of 2013

  • Jan 8, 2014

Both equity and bond categories set all-time nominal net cash flow records.

Dec 06 2013

2013’s Fund Flow Trends Have Room To Run

  • Dec 6, 2013

Year-to-date, equity funds are cash on par with those of the 2000 tech bubble, while bond mutual funds are experiencing net cash outflows for the first time in a decade.

Jul 09 2013

Target Date Funds Impacting Industry Fund Flows

  • Jul 9, 2013

Funds of funds, particularly target date funds, are growing rapidly and are now large enough to have a measurable impact on underlying fund flow trends.

Apr 05 2013

Fund Flows Still Not Quite As They Appear

  • Apr 5, 2013

In this report we take an in-depth look at the evolution of the industry, particularly the U.S. mutual fund industry, to help understand how some fund flow trends are more of an indication of evolving investor preferences instead of an indication of retail investor sentiment toward a particular asset class.

Apr 05 2011

Emerging Market Indicators Study—Premium/Discount Of Closed End Funds

  • Apr 5, 2011

Asset allocation portfolios continue to hold big positions in Emerging Markets. Jun Zhu presents an initial study exploring the use of Emerging Market Closed End Funds historical premium/discount levels as a predictor of future Emerging Market performance.


Nov 04 2009

Lemmings Atop The Fixed Income Cliff....And How This Could Play Out Well For Equities

  • Nov 4, 2009

Get out in front of the lemmings. We expect to ultimately see bond funds reverse now that performance has been lagging the stock market. But where will the money go? Our best guess is that it flows to Emerging Country Equities….once again chasing strong performance.


Sep 04 2009

Six Important Trends From The Supply/Demand Front

  • Sep 4, 2009

This month’s “Of Special Interest” section looks at six trends from the Supply/Demand front. Key to several of these trends is that investors chase performance: still seeing big inflows into bond funds, with big outflows from retail money market funds.


Jun 03 2009

Mutual Fund Flow Trends...Some Encouraging, Some Troubling....

  • Jun 3, 2009

Starting to see some modest inflow into U.S. focus equity mutual funds, which is a stock market positive.

Mar 03 2004

February Mutual Fund Flows...Big Inflows Continue

  • Mar 3, 2004

The numbers continue to be strong. At this point, we attribute the strong flow to a combination of seasonals, and pent up demand.

Dec 03 2003

November Mutual Fund Flows...What Fund Scandals?

  • Dec 3, 2003

Public does not yet seem to phased by the mutual fund scandals as November marked the ninth consecutive month of net inflow to U.S. focus mutual funds, totaling $133 billion of net inflow.

Oct 05 2003

View From The North Country

  • Oct 5, 2003

Thoughts and commentary regarding the groups in our Select Industries Portfolio, the Mutual Fund Timing scandal, NASD Margin Debt and deficit worries.

Aug 05 2002

The Market Impact Of Today's Net Redemptions

  • Aug 5, 2002

The important role of cash levels in today’s mutual funds.

Jul 03 2002

June Mutual Fund Flows

  • Jul 3, 2002

Estimate outflow of $20 billion in June, largest redemption month since Sept 01…..Not yet panic mode as this only represents 0.7% of total U.S. equity fund assets.

Feb 05 2002

View From The North Country

  • Feb 5, 2002

DALBAR study shows average investor missed out on 17-year bull market performance of 1984-2000.

Nov 05 2001

October Mutual Fund Flows & September’s “Record” Net Redemptions In Perspective

  • Nov 5, 2001

“Record” outflow only 10th highest as a percent of Equity Fund  assets. But, as a percent of stock market capitalization, September net outflow was about on par with October 1987.

Apr 03 2001

View From The North Country

  • Apr 3, 2001

Increased disclosure of mutual fund holdings detrimental to investment performance.

Apr 03 2001

April Is The "Opportunity" Month

  • Apr 3, 2001

Bear market broadened out in late March to include other than technology sectors. Never before have so many lost so much.…There is plenty of blame to go around. Academia, The Street, the Media, the “Experts” to name a few.

Jul 04 2000

In The Rear View Mirror

  • Jul 4, 2000

 Year 2000 is half over...Leuthold Paid To Play equity portfolio concentrated in Energy and Health Care up 7% in June, +33% YTD. Also, today’s huge valuation dichotomy.

Apr 05 2000

U.S. Equity Ownership Trends

  • Apr 5, 2000

A look at the short and long term trends among the major categories of U.S. stock market shareholders.

Mar 05 2000

Main Street Stampede To Tech Funds

  • Mar 5, 2000

Cash inflows to Technology specific mutual funds has exploded.

Jul 05 1999

Active Managers Beat Index Funds!

  • Jul 5, 1999

Just as many plan sponsors throw in the towel, active managers pull a great quarter out of their collective hat. What's in store for the second half of 1999?

May 05 1999

View From The North Country

  • May 5, 1999

Chasing the tale of past performance…The large cap indexing stampede. It’s not too late to get invested in emerging market funds. Also “Richer than your wildest dreams”…The advertising pitch of online trading firms. Who is protecting the public from this?

Apr 04 1999

View From The North Country

  • Apr 4, 1999

Transcript from late February conference call with Steve Leuthold and Byron Wien covering a wide spectrum of timely investment topics.

Mar 02 1999

View From The North Country

  • Mar 2, 1999

Contrary to Wall Street wisdom, rising MZM is not necessarily indicative of Fed easing. Nor does contracting MZM mean a tightening Fed. Also, unlocking the mystery of the low U.S. savings rate.

Mar 02 1999

The Expected Flood Never Arrived

  • Mar 2, 1999

In December 1998, nearly everybody seemed bullish about early 1999 (including me). A seasonal flood of new money was expected to run the market on the upside in the first quarter…..But, the flood never came.

Nov 04 1998

October Mutual Fund Flows

  • Nov 4, 1998

Public confidence measures have taken some sharp declines in recent weeks but mutual fund investors have cautiously returned as net buyers. Meanwhile the mountain of cash in U.S. focus equity mutual funds has climbed to $125 billion.

Oct 05 1998

September Mutual Fund Flows

  • Oct 5, 1998

Based on our estimates of mutual fund inflows at various market levels, it looks like more fund owners are now under water. About $116 billion was invested in the market above current levels. Nervous but not panicked mutual fund investors.

Sep 08 1998

August Mutual Fund Flows

  • Sep 8, 1998

Weekly inflows for the month of August were positive in the early part of the month, but quickly turned to net redemptions as the market fell. The data demonstrates that investors continue to buy on strength. They don’t buy the dips!

Aug 05 1998

July Mutual Fund Flows

  • Aug 5, 1998

According to the latest ICI report, fund managers investing in U.S equities were hoarding cash during the month of June. Percentage of assets rises to 4.1%, but still near all-time lows.

Jul 04 1998

June Mutual Fund Flows

  • Jul 4, 1998

Estimated net inflows into U.S. equity funds increased significantly in June compared to May and nearly doubled year ago flows.

Jun 03 1998

May Mutual Fund Flows

  • Jun 3, 1998

Mutual fund investors’ enthusiasm cooled during May’s volatile stock market, leaving monthly total equity fund inflows at the lowest level since March 1997.

Jun 03 1998

View From the North Country

  • Jun 3, 1998

Remembering Mister Johnson, the founding spirit of Fidelity. A “Balanced” mutual fund up 8% in a single day? Also, a reader response to last month’s comments on a new NYSE rule and how good were the good old days?

May 05 1998

April Mutual Fund Flows

  • May 5, 1998

Net inflows into U.S. equity funds for April are estimated to be down slightly from March but still running almost 40% ahead of a year ago.

Apr 06 1998

March Mutual Fund Flows

  • Apr 6, 1998

Net inflows into U.S. equity funds extremely strong and now nearly 30% ahead of impressive 1997 levels. Fund flow controversy revisited. Still no consensus regarding December’s huge discrepancies between the top two data providers on the mutual fund cash flows.

Mar 05 1998

February Mutual Fund Flows

  • Mar 5, 1998

Domestic equity inflows for 1998 lag last year’s levels, but still very strong...However, bond and money market fund flows YTD are significantly ahead of1997’s pace.