Spring usually is a season of celebration and growth, but many of the largest U.S. mutual fund houses had little to crow about this year.
While estimated net sales of U.S. stock and bond funds totaled $22.1 billion in April, a big improvement from net redemptions in March of $8.6 billion, company-specific data from Financial Research Corp., Boston, was bleak for many.
Only four of the 25 largest U.S. mutual fund companies, ranked by total stock and bond fund assets, had more long-term mutual fund assets under management as of April 30 than they had on the same date a year earlier, FRC data showed. Those fortunate four were: The Vanguard Group of Investment Cos., PIMCO Advisors Inc., Dreyfus Funds and SEI Corp. Vanguard's total long-term mutual fund assets were up $3 billion from the previous year to $495.4 billion, buoyed by year-to-date April 30 net flows of $12.7 billion. PIMCO's assets were up about $10 billion to $70.2 billion, year-to-date net flows were $5.3 billion. Dreyfus' long-term fund assets were up about $2 billion to $57.5 billion, and SEI's assets grew about $3 billion to $35.8 billion.
FRC reported the biggest long-term mutual fund loss was sustained by Fidelity Investments, where assets dropped $78 billion to $575 billion as of April 30. Janus Investors lost $63 billion to end April at $142 billion. Putnam Investments lost $43 billion, bringing it down to $203 billion, and American Century Investments also lost $20 billion in long-term fund assets, closing April with $78 billion in long-term fund assets.