Thompson Reuters reports that assets managed by U.S.-based funds have grown substantially, led by equity funds, in 2017.
“Though financial markets have been broadly skeptical about the ability of the Trump presidency to pass significant political reforms since he won the U.S. elections, funds have enjoyed inflows and have seen the value of their holdings rise as global financial markets enjoyed double-digit returns,” the news service notes.
Specifically, it reports that total net assets under management of U.S. mutual funds including exchange-traded funds climbed by one-sixth to $21.1 trillion over the one-year period ending Sept. 30, according to Thomson Reuters’ own data.
“Equity funds were the leaders with assets under management for stock funds seeing the biggest increase over that period with total assets rising by a fifth to $11.4 trillion as of end-September global stock markets hit new peaks.”
While performance has been a key driver as rising markets pushed up valuations, inflows have also been robust, Reuters adds, “especially to passively managed funds as active managers faced another year of fierce competition from their exchange-traded counterparts.”
According to the Investment Company Institute, there are 56.2 million mutual fund-owning households in the United States, and 81 percent purchased their funds through employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401k plans.
Sixty-four percent held mutual funds outside employer-sponsored retirement plans, and 45 percent held mutual funds both inside and outside such plans.
Shareholders purchasing funds outside of employer-sponsored retirement plans use a wide variety of financial services providers.
In mid-2017, 50 percent of mutual fund-owning households had purchased mutual funds from an investment professional, such as a full-service broker, independent financial planner, or bank or insurance company representative.
Thirty-six percent of mutual fund-owning households held their funds directly through discount brokers or mutual fund companies.