Keeping Track: Cash flows into mutual funds

Investors scaled back mutual-fund contributions this past quarter compared with previous ones. Still, inflows are higher than this time last year.

In May 2000, net new cash flow into stock funds hit $16.9 billion, up from $14.9 billion in May 1999. But the May figure pales in comparison to the $34 billion that flowed in during April of this year.

Total equity in mutual funds so far for 2000 is $188 billion, about $1 billion more than all of 1999.

Investors continue to squirrel away larger amounts of money for retirement in their mutual funds. More than a third of of all money in mutual funds is in retirement accounts, notes the Investment Company Institute.

Net new cash flow into mutual funds earmarked for retirement totaled $133 billion in 1999. Most of that money went into equity funds ($112 billion), with money-market funds accounting for most of the rest.

Mutual-fund assets held in 401(k) plans hit $777 billion. Mutual funds' share of the 401(k) market was estimated at 45 percent last year, compared with 9 percent in 1990.

But the heavyweights in mutual-fund investing are individual retirement accounts, which accounted for $1.2 trillion at the end of last year.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.