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U.S. mutual funds give way to ETFs; ex-U.S. funds enjoy strong first half

U.S equity mutual funds lost $72 billion in assets through June 30, while ex-U.S. funds brought in about $32 billion in new money. Equity ETFs brought in a total $179.5 billion through June 30, with about $85 billion going to U.S. ETFs and $95 billion to ex-U.S. ETFs.

The Investment Company Institute did not provide whether the funds gaining or losing assets were actively or passively managed, but the overall trend falls in line with the ongoing trend of assets moving into passive funds away from active U.S. funds.

Mutual funds investing outside the U.S. saw a turnaround in the first half of 2017 after bleeding $36 billion during the previous six months. The reversal can be partially attributed to the calming waters surrounding 2016's populist movements that threatened further fragmentation of the European Union and the attractive valuations left in its aftermath. Emerging markets funds saw their best six-month period since the first half of 2015, as the sector brought in $8.6 billion in new assets.