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Morningstar Reports U.S. Mutual Fund and ETF Asset Flows for December 2016

CHICAGO, Jan. 18, 2017—Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today reported estimated U.S. mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) asset flows for December 2016. Investors ended the year by favoring passively managed U.S. equity funds over actively managed funds by a record margin, placing an estimated $50.8 billion in passive funds in December. On the active side, investors pulled $23.0 billion out of U.S. equity funds during the month. Morningstar estimates net flow for mutual funds by computing the change in assets not explained by the performance of the fund and net flow for ETFs by computing the change in shares outstanding.

Highlights from Morningstar’s report about U.S. asset flows in December:

  • Investors’ preferences have shifted to favoring stock funds over bond funds, amid growing optimism about the U.S. economy and continued rising interest rates and inflation. The overall inflows tally for U.S. stock funds hit its highest monthly total since April 2000, at $27.8 billion. Taxable bond funds saw overall net inflows of $14.6 billion in December.
  • December 2016 saw overall outflows from alternative strategies of $4.4 billion, with full-year outflows of $4.7 billion. This marked the worst showing for alternative funds since 2005 and is a significant reversal from 2015 when they took in $13.3 billion.
  • Morningstar Category trends for December showed bank-loan funds as a leading category with inflows of $6.0 billion on the active side and $1.4 billion for passive strategies, continuing a recent trend of growing interest in these funds.
  • Vanguard dominated the flows landscape in 2016. The firm took in $277.0 billion in total new money during the year, finishing at $3.4 trillion in long-term assets. American Funds saw $4.9 billion in active outflows during 2016, while Fidelity Investments offset some of the bleeding on the active side with $37.2 billion in passive inflows.
  • Among index-fund and exchange-traded funds, SPDR SandP 500 ETF took in the most assets at $14.3 billion for December 2016, followed by three Vanguard funds with offerings for U.S. stocks, international stocks, and U.S. bonds.
  • PIMCO Income, which has a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Silver, is the top active individual fund in terms of inflows; the fund took in $1.5 billion in December and $13.7 billion for 2016. Bronze-rated Franklin Federal Tax Free Income bucked the trend for outflows in December among active municipal-bond funds, seeing inflows of $1.4 billion.

To view the complete report, please click here. For more information about Morningstar Asset Flows, please visit http://global.morningstar.com/assetflows.

The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete, or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on nearly 540,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on approximately 18.5 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $200 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2016. The company has operations in 27 countries.

Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings noted herein are based on Morningstar Research Services analysts’ current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause such expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Analyst Ratings are not guarantees nor should they be viewed as an assessment of a fund’s or the fund’s underlying securities’ creditworthiness. This press release is for informational purposes only; it should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the mutual funds noted within.

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