- Largely due to substantial asset growth in passively managed products
- Equity products captured flows of greater than $232 billion
In 2013, total US mutual fund assets grew by nearly 20%, largely due to substantial asset growth in passively managed products. Across the board, equity products dominated the mutual fund landscape in 2013, capturing flows of greater than $232 billion year-to-date.
Total ETF assets expanded by 1.9% in December, ending the year with nearly $1.7 billion. ETF equity strategies also grew substantially in 2013, averaging net flows of $17.9 billion per month.
In the January 2014 issue of The Cerulli Edge - U.S. Monthly Product Trends, Cerulli explores vehicle use, including advisor adoption of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). January's Monthly Spotlight reviews the best-selling mutual funds, ETFs, and Morningstar categories of 2013.
Managers wrestle with meaningful advantages and disadvantages tied to different MLP fund structures more than other investment strategies. Assets in excess of $8 billion are spread across different vehicles, including CEFs (37%), mutual funds (27%), ETFs (19%), and ETNs (17%), with some structured as C corporations and others as registered investment companies (RICs).
Trends in fees
According to the report, a barbell trend emerged in 2013. On one hand, hands-off passive management among indexed products fueled a fee race to the bottom. On the other, investors paid a premium to glean more specialized exposures, including short-duration and unconstrained fixed income.