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Rating:One Year After the Lockdowns, Active No Longer Dominates Flows Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 26, 2021

One Year After the Lockdowns, Active No Longer Dominates Flows

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Unlike in March 2020, active funds no longer dominate industry flows, and outflows are no longer pervasive.

Mary Callahan Erdoes
J.P. Morgan
CEO of Asset and Wealth Management
This article draws from Morningstar Direct data on March 2021 open-end mutual fund and ETF flows, excluding money-market funds and funds of funds. The data also excludes other asset management products, like SMAs and CITs.

J.P. Morgan (including Six Circles) took the lead on the active side last month, with estimated net March 2021 active inflows of $5.905 billion, up month-over-month from $5.856 billion in February 2021 and up year-over-year from $12.84 billion in March 2020 outflows. Other big March 2021 active inflows winners included: Capital Group's American Funds, $5.748 billion (up MOM from $3.009 billion, up YOY from $15.578 billion in net outflows); Fidelity, $5.16 billion (down MOM from $8.092 billion, up YOY from $24.361 billion in net outflows); Edward Jones' Bridge Builder, $4.796 billion (up MOM from $1.494 billion, up YOY from $2.224 billion in net outflows); and BlackRock, $2.479 billion (down MOM from $5.062 billion, up YOY from $10.312 billion in net outflows).

Vanguard again maintained its lead last month on the passive side of the business, thanks to an estimated $40.406 billion in net March 2021 passive inflows, up MOM from $33.614 billion and up YOY from $11.071 billion in net outflows. Other big March 2021 passive inflows winners included: BlackRock, $23.049 billion (up MOM from $15.595 billion, up YOY from $12.671 billion); SSGA, $17.563 billion (up MOM from $4.448 billion, down YOY from $24.078 billion]; Fidelity, $15.337 billion (up MOM from $11.675 billion, up YOY from $14.985 billion); and Invesco, $7.414 (down MOM from $8.662 billion, up YOY from $2.185 billion in net outflows).

On the flip side, last month was rough forDFA, or at least its active funds, suffering an estimated $3.028 billion in new March 2021 outflows, up MOM from $2.701 billion but down YOY from $7.834 billion). Other big active outflows sufferers in March 2021 included: IVA, $1.21 billion (up MOM from $309 million, upY YOY from $531 million; Franklin Templeton, $1.079 billion (down MOM from $3.825 billion, down YOY from $8.127 billion); T. Rowe Price, $943 million (down MOM from $777 million, down YOY from $14.904 billion.

On the passive side, T. Rowe took the lead last month thanks to an estimated $1.449 billion in net passive outflows, down MOM from $1.012 in net February 2021 inflows and down YOY from $2.386 billion in net March 2020 outflows. Other big passive outflows sufferers in March 2021 included: DWS (including Xtrackers), $768 million (down MOM from $391 million in net inflows, up YOY from $558 million); Goldman Sachs, $559 million (down MOM from $12 million in net inflows, up YOY from $221 million; USCF, $465 million (up MOM from $394 million, down YOY from $2.099 billion in net inflows); and Nationwide, $460 million (up MOM from $44 million, up YOY from $183 million).

Industrywide, the 694 active fund firms tracked by the M* team (down MOM from 697 in February 2021 and down YOY from 719 in March 2020) brought in an estimated $42.386 billion in net active inflows in March 2021, accounting for 27.08 percent of overall industry long-term inflows. That's down from $53.109 billion and 36.76 percent of industry inflows in February 2021, and up from $309.808 billion in net outflows and 95 percent of industry outflows in March 2020. 387 firms gained net active inflows in March 2021, up MOM from 391 and up YOY from 194.

The 144 passive fund firms tracked by the M* team (up MOM from 141 but down YOY from 146), brought in an estimated $114.117 billion in net passive inflows in March 2021, accounting for 72.92 percent of overall industry long-term inflows. That's up from $91.347 billion and 63.23 percent in February 2021, and $16.578 billion in net outflows and 5 percent of industry outflows in March 2020. 82 firms gained net passive inflows in March 2021, down MOM from 89 and up YOY from 55. 

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