Equity-focused mutual funds and exchange-traded funds followed their worst month in three years with more net outflows in January and neutral interest in the first half of February. Equity funds had a net $57.4 billion walk out the door in December, and another $14.9 billion in January. The lack of positive response to the market rebound since its 4Q collapse could signal that the market isn't buying the gains for the long term. Since the start of 2019, the MSCI ACWI index has gained 9.9% while the Russell 3000 index is up 11.8%, both through Tuesday. However, since the start of 2018's fourth quarter, the indexes are both down 4.5%.
Bond funds added about $29 billion in 2019 through Feb. 13 after net outflows of $85 billion in Q4.
On a cumulative basis, equity funds have had net inflows of $51.4 billion since January 2016, a number that was as high as $170 billion a year ago. Bond funds have been garnered more attention over the same period amassing $628.7 billion, reaching a nadir of $684.8 billion in September 2018.