Lipper Research

Most Recent Research

Report Type / Publish DateReport Name
Apr 09, 2015

Oil Takes Bonds for a Wild Ride

We began 2015 where we left off 2014: watching oil prices slide in a tailspin as the world stood awash in too much oil. Beginning in June of last year, oil prices (such as the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate [WTI] crude as well as the global Brent) tumbled as U.S.-based production ramped up and OPEC’s Saudi leaders refused to scale back production. But what was begun by the Saudis as a means to protect market share by driving out higher-cost U.S. drillers turned into an all-out rout of oil producers at home and abroad. Suddenly, the heartland of America looked a little less stable than it did six months prior as energy-related job losses mounted. And the loss of a substantial means of funding in Russia pushed its leaders into economic and political crisis mode. Both of those situations are bullish for Treasuries, as any uptick in unemployment (or even sluggish jobs growth) will tend to make the Federal Reserve reluctant to change the near-zero federal funds rate, and saber rattling always brings traders back to the safety of Treasuries.The next source of trouble for oil, though, is any removal of sanctions against Iran. With 30 million barrels of oil sitting in tankers waiting to ship out and a sanctions agreement possible as early as June, a further halving of oil prices is not unquestionable. Look for Treasuries to rally as knock-on effects figure greatly.
Apr 05, 2015

The Month in Closed-End Funds: March 2015

March was an up-and-down month for equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs). Equity CEFs posted their third month of negative returns in four, declining on average 0.91% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, for the second month in three their fixed income counterparts managed to post a plus-side return on average, gaining 0.28%.  For March only 11% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's taxable bond CEFs macro-group witnessed the only narrowing of discounts for the month—18 basis points (bps) to 9.23%. Back to their winning ways, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Bond CEFs (Leveraged) (+0.63%) witnessing the largest gain of the fixed income universe. Mixed-asset CEFs (-0.12%) mitigated losses better than their world equity CEFs (-0.79%) and domestic equity CEFs (-1.17%) brethren. Real Estate CEFs (+0.53%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Energy MLP CEFs (-3.24%) was at the bottom. 
Apr 01, 2015

Despite an Increase in Volatility, Equity Funds Post Plus-Side Returns for Q1 2015

For Q1 2015 equity funds (+2.56% on average) posted their second consecutive quarterly gain. World Equity Funds (+3.36%) jumped to the head of the class for the first quarter in six, outperforming Lipper's other three broad equity macro-classifications: U.S. Diversified Equity (USDE) Funds (+2.48%), Mixed-Asset Funds (+1.99%), and Sector Equity Funds (+1.34%).The Sector Equity Funds macro-classification housed two of the three best performing classifications in the equity universe: Health/Biotechnology Funds (+11.51%) and Global Health/Biotechnology Funds (+10.04%). Despite ongoing geopolitical concerns, the ECB's quantitative-easing announcement and a strengthening dollar were supportive of foreign markets, and investors bid up Japanese Funds (+11.46%, the equity universe’s top-performing classification) and China Region Funds (+6.59%). 
Mar 18, 2015

APs and Retail Investors Pad the Coffers of Long-Term Funds

For the ninth month in ten mutual fund investors injected net new money into the conventional funds business, plowing $19.6 billion into stock & mixed-asset funds and $18.4 billion into bond funds. Money market funds (-$12.3 billion) experienced the only net outflows of the three broad asset classes for February. The Mixed-Asset Funds macro-classification (+$10.4 billion) took in the largest monthly net inflows of Lipper's five equity macro-classifications.For the twelfth month in 13 authorized participants (APs) were net purchasers of exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets (+$33.5 billion), injecting $18.9 billion net into stock & mixed-asset ETFs for February. The World Equity ETFs macro-classification (+$12.5 billion) witnessed the largest equity net inflows for the month. For the fifth month in a row bond ETFs (+$14.7 billion) experienced net purchases, with High Yield ETFs (+$3.8 billion) witnessing the largest net inflows of the classifications.  
Mar 03, 2015

The Month in Closed-End Funds: February 2015

Once again equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) went their separate ways in February. Equity CEFs posted their first month of plus-side returns in three, rising on average 3.19% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, their fixed income counterparts suffered a negative return on average, losing 0.05% for the month.  For February only 11% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity funds and 10% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's municipal bond CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest widening of discounts for the month—25 basis points (bps) to 6.82%. Breaking a 12-month trend, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the red, with New Jersey Municipal Bond CEFs (-1.78%) suffering the largest loss of the fixed income universe. World equity CEFs (+3.78%) outpaced their domestic equity CEFs (+3.10%) and mixed-asset CEFs (+2.50%) brethren. Core CEFs (+5.09%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Real Estate CEFs (-0.59%) was at the bottom. 
Feb 19, 2015

Despite Poor Performance in January, Retail Investors Pad the Coffers of Long-Term Mutual Funds

Mutual fund investors warmed to long-term mutual funds, injecting $24.5 billion into stock & mixed-asset funds and $10.2 billion into bond funds. Money market funds (-$41.0 billion) experienced the only net outflows of the three broad asset classes for January. The Mixed-Asset Funds macro-classification (+$12.7 billion) witnessed its largest monthly net inflows since January 2013.For the first month in 12 authorized participants (APs) were net redeemers of exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets (-$2.1 billion), withdrawing $10.1 billion net from stock & mixed-asset ETFs for January. Lipper's S&P 500 Index ETFs classification (-$26.6 billion) suffered the largest net redemptions for the month. For the fourth month in a row bond ETFs (+$8.0 billion) experienced net purchases, with General U.S. Treasury ETFs (+$1.9 billion) witnessing the largest net inflows of the group.  
Feb 02, 2015

The Month in Closed-End Funds: January 2015

Equity and fixed income closed-end funds (CEFs) went their separate ways in January. Equity CEFs posted their second straight month of declines, dropping on average 0.73% on a net-asset-value (NAV) basis. Meanwhile, their fixed income counterparts posted a plus-side return on average, rising 1.61% for the month.  For January only 13% of all CEFs traded at a premium to their NAV, with 13% of equity funds and 12% of fixed income funds trading in premium territory. Lipper's municipal bonds CEFs macro-group witnessed the largest narrowing of discounts for the month—204 basis points (bps) to 6.57%. Continuing a 12-month trend, all of Lipper's municipal bond CEF classifications posted returns in the black, with General & Insured Municipal Bond CEFs (Leveraged) (+2.98%) once again posting the best return. Once again, mixed-asset CEFs (+0.27%) outpaced their world equity CEFs (-0.42%) and domestic equity CEFs (-1.17%) brethren. Once again, Real Estate CEFs (+3.80%) posted the strongest return in the equity universe for the month, while Growth CEFs (-7.46%) was at the bottom. 
Jan 26, 2015

Lipper U.S. Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Products Q4 2014 Snapshot

In this inaugural issue of Lipper's U.S. Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Products Snapshot, we feature a summary of total net assets, estimated net flows, and new fund creations for conventional funds and exchange-traded products for Q4 2014, comparing those changes to prior quarters and highlighting the largest individual gainers and losers of both groups. Lipper's U.S. Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Products Snapshot provides readers a powerful, easy-to-use guide and quick reference tool to help them discern fund trends for the quarter.
Jan 20, 2015

Retail Investors Are in Stark Contrast With Authorized Participants in December

Mutual fund investors turned a cold shoulder to long-term mutual funds, redeeming $32.2 billion from stock & mixed-asset funds (their first net redemptions in 24 months) and $16.1 billion from bond funds. Money market funds (+$79.7 billion) experienced the only net inflows of the three broad asset classes for December. The Mixed-Asset Funds macro-classification (-$4.5 billion) suffered its first month of net redemptions since November 2011.Authorized participants injected $38.3 billion net into stock & mixed-asset exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for December. Lipper's S&P 500 Index ETFs classification (+$18.1 billion) attracted the largest net sum for the month. For the third month in a row bond ETFs (+$2.9 billion net) experienced net purchases, with Core Bond ETFs (+$4.7 billion) witnessing the largest net inflows of the group.  
Jan 06, 2015

Global Growth Worries Fuel Safe-Haven Bond Plays

Treasury funds and munis were all the rage in Q4 as investors bolted for safer assets while the global economy twisted in the wind.

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