Lipper Research

Most Recent Research

Report Type / Publish DateReport Name
Apr 03, 2014

Best Q1 for the Aggregate Since 2008

Munis turned a corner as buyers came back to the asset class. Lipper's High Yield Muni Debt Funds classification returned 5.25% to become Q1's best-performing funds group. Munis would not have risen so high if Treasuries hadn't rallied. Yields on the ten-year note settled down from 3.04% on December 31, 2013, to 2.73% on March 31, 2014, to help General U.S. Treasury Funds gain 3.63% for the quarter.High Yield Funds was good—not great. The 2.61% gain for the group was below the investment-grade groups’ returns.International Income Funds (+2.32%) looked very good for the quarter. Investors eked out a few more basis points (bps) in Emerging Markets Hard Currency Debt Funds (+2.44%) but had to weather more volatility to do so.
Apr 02, 2014

The Month in Closed-End Funds: March 2014

For March only 11% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 11% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's Single-State Municipal Bond CEFs macro-classification witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--28 basis points (bps) to 8.28%. For the second consecutive month equity and fixed income CEFs stayed on common paths in March, with equity funds returning 1.03% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 0.71% for the month.  For the third consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with Pennsylvania Municipal Debt CEFs (+1.01%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+0.68%) outpaced their domestic taxable fixed income CEF counterparts (+0.56%) for the month.  Despite continued geopolitical concerns, World Equity CEFs (+1.63%) and World Income CEFs (+1.71%) remained ahead of their domestic and taxable counterparts, respectively, for March. 
Apr 01, 2014

Equity Funds Just Manage to Post a Seventh Consecutive Quarter of Positive Returns, Despite an Uptick in Market Uncertainty

Equity funds (+1.47% on average) posted a plus-side return for Q1 2014, with Sector Equity Funds (+4.05%) jumping to the head of the class for the first quarter in 17. It handsomely outshone Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: Mixed-Asset Funds (+1.47%), U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+1.33%), and World Equity Funds (+0.40%).Dedicated Short-Bias Funds (-4.56%), Japanese Funds (-4.45%), and China Region Funds (-4.40%) were the big losers for the quarter.On weather-related concerns Commodities Agriculture Funds (+16.15%) jumped to the top of the leader board, followed closely by one of Q4 2013's laggards: Precious Metals Equity Funds (+12.21%).
Mar 17, 2014

Fund Investors Continue to Purchase Long-Term Assets in February

Breaking a seven-month trend, mutual fund investors were net sellers of fund assets for February. However, the headline numbers were misleading. While padding the coffers of stock & mixed-asset funds (+$37.4 billion) and bond funds (+$11.1 billion--their second monthly net inflows in a row), investors were net redeemers of money market funds (-$50.3 billion--their largest monthly net redemptions in 12 months). The U.S. Diversified Equity Funds macro-group, taking in a net $7.6 billion for February, attracted net inflows for the tenth month in a row.  Large-cap funds attracted net new money for a fourth consecutive month, taking in $1.5 billion for February. Fixed income exchange-traded funds (ETFs) witnessed their largest net inflows on record, attracting some $16.1 billion for February--much of which was attributed to Good Harbor Financial LLC trades. After suffering net redemptions for January, the World Equity ETFs macro-classification (+$1.1 billion) experienced monthly net inflows despite Ukraine worries.
Mar 04, 2014

The Month in Closed-End Funds: February 2014

For February only 10% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 10% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The High Yield CEFs classification witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month--117 basis points (bps) to 6.90%. Equity and fixed income CEFs merged onto common paths in February for the first month in four, with equity funds returning 3.59% on a NAV basis and their fixed income counterparts returning 1.86% for the month.  For the second consecutive month all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Debt CEFs (Leveraged) (+2.28%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+2.05%) outpaced their domestic taxable CEF counterparts (+1.42%) for the month.  Despite increasing geopolitical concerns in Ukraine, World Equity CEFs (+3.72%) and World Income CEFs (+2.81%) jumped ahead of their domestic and taxable counterparts, respectively, for February.
Feb 18, 2014

Despite Market Concerns, Investors Continue to Pad the Coffers of Mutual Funds in January

For the seventh consecutive month mutual fund investors were net purchasers of fund assets for January. They padded the coffers of stock & mixed-asset funds (+$39.9 billion) and bond funds (+$0.3 billion--their first monthly inflows in eight), while being net redeemers of money market funds (-$13.4 billion).The U.S. Diversified Equity Funds macro-group, taking in a net $10.6 billion for January, attracted net inflows for the ninth month in a row. Large-cap funds attracted net new money for a third consecutive month, taking in $4.3 billion for January.Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) suffer net redemptions for the first month in five, handing back some $14.2 billion.  The World Equity ETFs macro-classification (-$1.8 billion) experienced its first monthly net redemptions in seven. 
Feb 09, 2014

Exchange-Traded Notes-Definitions and Uses

Barclays launched the first exchanged-traded notes (ETNs) in July 2006 under the iPath brand. Those ETNs were Dow Jones–AIG Commodity Index Total Return ETN and S&P GSCI Total Return Index ETN. Since then, more than 300 ETNs have been created in the U.S. and Europe, and more are on the way. The acronym ETN has created some confusion and misunderstanding. Many retail investors seem to lump ETNs together with exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For example, some published reports suggest that inclusion of precious metals in a portfolio can be achieved using ETFs or ETNs; the reports don’t make any distinction between the two securities. This unfortunate co-categorization is understandable in light of the acronym similarities. But, while ETNs do share a few similarities with ETFs, they are very different from ETFs in a number of critical respects.In this paper we provide an introduction to ETNs. We define ETNs and discuss the trading of ETN shares and their tax treatment. We also make a case for the use of ETNs by retail and institutional investors.This paper combines three seperate articles that appeared on lipperinsight.thomsonreuters.com in October 2013.
Feb 04, 2014

The Month in Closed-End Funds: January 2014

For January only 9% of all closed-end funds (CEFs) traded at a premium to their net asset value (NAV), with 8% of equity funds and 9% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. The World Equity CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month--63 basis points (bps) to 10.76%. Equity and fixed income CEFs continued on separate paths in January, with equity funds losing 1.57% on a NAV basis (registering their first monthly loss since August 2013), while their fixed income counterparts returned 2.56% for the month.  For the first month in four all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with California Municipal Debt Funds (+4.35%) outpacing the other classifications in the group. Municipal debt CEFs (+3.95%) outpaced their domestic taxable CEF counterparts (+1.27%) for the month.  With greater scrutiny on emerging markets, World Equity CEFs (-4.05%) and World Income CEFs (-1.16%) lagged their domestic and taxable counterparts, respectively, for January.
Jan 20, 2014

For 2013 Equity Funds Witness Their Strongest One-Year Net Inflows in at Least 21 Years

For the sixth consecutive month mutual fund investors were net purchasers of fund assets for December, padding the coffers of stock & mixed-asset funds (+$25.4 billion) and money market funds (+$53.4 billion), while being net redeemers of bond funds (-$15.3 billion)--for bond funds' seventh consecutive month of net redemptions. The U.S. Diversified Equity Funds macro-group, taking in a net $9.7 billion for December, attracted net inflows for the eighth month in a row.  Large-cap funds attracted net new money for a second consecutive month, taking in $0.7 billion for December. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) attracted net inflows for a fourth month in a row, taking in $12.0 billion and pushing up their 2013 net inflows to $158.5 billion. The USDE ETFs macro-classification (+$14.2 billion) experienced its fourth consecutive month of net inflows--bringing its 2013 net inflows to $98.1 billion.
Jan 06, 2014

It Couldn’t Last Forever: For Bond Funds 2013 Is Finally Over

Tapering turned from theory to practice in Q4 as the Fed decided to pull about $10 billion per month from its QE3 program.The worst performing Lipper classification in the bond funds universe for Q4 was General U.S. Treasury Funds, which lost 1.95% and ended 2013 with an annual loss of 6.67%.Loan Participation Funds saw net inflows slow down, but performance remained strong with a Q4 return of 1.80% on average.Municipal debt funds eked out an unexpected positive return of 0.12%, despite great hand-wringing over Puerto Rico and its widely held bonds.

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