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Money Keeps Marching Into Funds

April 10, 1998|From Reuters

Investors put an estimated $27.5 billion into U.S. stock mutual funds in March, topping the $24.2 billion invested in February, the Investment Company Institute said Thursday.

"That is phenomenal and the amount is way up over the preceding March," mutual fund analyst Sheldon Jacobs said. "Investors are generally bullish, there have been no meaningful market corrections and money continues to pour in."

In March 1997, domestic equity funds took in $9.97 billion in net new cash, the industry trade group report showed.

Investors socked an estimated $37.5 billion last month into all long-term stock, hybrid, taxable bond and municipal bond funds, compared with $32.4 billion in February, the ICI report showed.

March may have been a particularly strong month for mutual funds because of contributions to retirement accounts, including Roth individual retirement accounts, which were launched at the start of the year, the ICI said.

"March looked like a pretty strong month, judging by the ICI estimate," said Carl Wittnebert, director of research at Mutual Fund Trim Tabs, which also tracks monthly investments and withdrawals at mutual funds. "And the beginning of April is looking even stronger."

Hybrid funds, which include balanced, flexible portfolio, mixed income and asset allocation funds, had an estimated inflow of $2.5 billion in March, compared with $1.9 billion in February, ICI said.

Combined taxable and municipal bond funds received an estimated $7.5 billion in investments last month, compared with $6.3 billion in February, ICI said.

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