Dec 12, 2019

A possible explanation for 2019's equity outflows

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Data: Investment Company Institute; Note: Nov. 2019 and Dec. 2019 data are estimates; Chart: Axios Visuals

The historic outflow from equity funds this year likely has a lot to do with the aging demographics of the U.S., analysts at the Investment Company Institute say.

What it means: Shelly Antoniewicz, ICI's senior director of industry and financial analysis, says that the record flows out of U.S. and global equity funds and into bond and money market funds largely reflect older Americans' desire for safety.

  • That desire is partially motivated by "uncertainty with trade and tariffs," but it's also about many baby boomers nearing retirement and shifting from stocks to bonds.
  • "When I map out the percentage of the population 65 and over with bond fund flows ... they’re rising in tandem," she tells Axios.

Details: As of the week ending Dec. 4, a record $186.5 billion has been pulled out of equity ETFs and mutual funds.

  • Equity ETFs have seen net inflows, while mutual funds have posted enormous outflows.

Go deeper: How private equity could disrupt the 2020 election

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U.S. private equity firms raised record $300 billion in funding in 2019

Illustration: Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

U.S.-based private equity firms raised more than $300 billion for new funds in 2019, according to data released this morning by PitchBook.

The intrigue: It's an all-time record, topping the $241 billion raised in 2016, and a 52% bump over the $198 billion raised in 2018.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

SEC eyes oversight as investors pour cash into "socially responsible" funds

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors are pouring record amounts of money into passive ESG funds — but the vagueness of just how money managers determine the makeup of their sustainable funds is now attracting attention from regulators.

Why it matters: Investors are paying high management fees for these "socially responsible" funds. It's important that they get what they pay for.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

Powell and the risk-off bull market

Jerome Powell. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Fed’s 180-degree turn was the story of 2019, asset managers and market analysts say.

What happened: Chairman Jerome Powell and the U.S. central bank went from raising interest rates for a fourth time at the close of 2018 and giving market watchers the explicit expectation this would continue in 2019, to doing the opposite. The Fed cut rates thrice and even began re-padding its balance sheet in the last quarter of the year, bringing it back above $4 trillion.

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020