Recent articles by: Mark McFee
  • December 2019Opinions & Features

    October on the up and up

    October got the last quarter of the year off to a flying start for the funds industry, as rising stock markets and the comfort of central bank support helped underpin stellar net sales of long-term funds for the month of €35bn (€123.5bn year to date), and their highest point in some 21 months. Any late-summer signs of the bond train …
  • November 2019Opinions & Features

    A change to the direction of travel

    September proved a good month for the long-term funds industry, ending a volatile quarter with inflows for the month of €23bn (€92bn year to date), making Q3 the best quarter of the year to date. There was some indication that the bond train was slowing as, while still the most popular asset class, inflows fell to just €13bn in September …
  • October 2019Opinions & Features

    Cure for the summertime blues?

    The summer malaise in August produced a sales slump which saw net flows of long-term funds dip back into modest negative territory – just shy of €1bn. With investors firmly in holding-pattern mode for a second month in a row, a hefty chunk of risk assets (€45bn) was shifted into the trusty safe haven of money market funds, with the …
  • September 2019First Sight

    First indications of fund flows in August 2019

    ▪ Net European fund flows shrink to just €2.7bn in August. A combination of lower bond demand and increasing equity redemptions is to blame, as markets turn their noses up at the US Fed's smaller-than-expected rate cut at the end of July.
  • September 2019First Sight

    An awkward August

    Headline European net fund sales flattened out in August, slipping back from the higher volumes logged during the previous two months to just €2.7bn (including ETFs). The tally was dragged down by a combination of deepening equity redemptions and decelerating bond commitments, as other asset classes plodded along in neutral territory. But caution is required in this assessment: the bulk …
  • September 2019First Sight

    The tug of (trade) war

    August may not have been a washout month in terms of European fund demand, but the modest fund flows reflected a variety of interrelated factors weighing heavily on investors' shoulders. The Fed's interest-rate cut at the very end of July set the tone – but not quite the one that markets had expected. The cut fell short of hopes for …
  • September 2019First Sight

    Rate-cut resentment

    US fund investors responded more negatively to the month's trials and tribulations than their European counterparts, with America's asset managers seeing US$16bn of net redemptions from mutual funds and ETFs in August. Bonds and commodities remained a bright spot, attracting US$25bn (split US$16bn taxable and US$9bn municipal) and US$3bn respectively, while equities were a vortex of outflows, losing US$39bn. US …
  • September 2019Opinions & Features

    Left, right, or straight ahead?

    Market sentiment in August was fairly poor, with all major stock markets ending the month mired in the red. Yet another intensification of the trade war, and further signals of global economic lethargy, helped to feed fears that the US could be heading towards recession despite its generally chipper recent data, evident in fresh inversions of the US Treasury yield …