Year to date combined mutual fund and ETF fund flows show investor continue to be net redeemers of equity funds, both international and U.S. domestic equities in the amount of $30.5 billion. Conversely, investors have been net purchasers of bond or fixed income investments. The flow data shown below is reported by the Investment Company Institute with a one week lag with last week’s report representing data for the week ending April 24, 2019. Lipper reports fund data as well and they show continued equity fund redemption for the week ending May 1, 2019 in the amount of -$1.8 billion.
For the most part, cumulative flows from domestic equities have been negative so far this year in spite of the strength of equity market returns as seen below. And while bond inflows have been strong, bond returns have lagged equity returns by a significant amount.
The recent fund flow data is one indication investors may not be overly bullish which is a positive contrarian data point. Other sentiment data, such as the weekly American Association of Individual Investors’ Sentiment Survey is indicating this as well.