Changes in the Most Popular Mutual Funds
February 10, 2009


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Each quarter we look at changes in Most Popular Mutual Funds in the Advisor Perspectives (AP) universe.  This installment looks at changes from September 30, 2008 to December 31, 2008.  Previous installments of this analysis were in October 2008, July 2008, April 2008, January 2008, November 2007, August 2007, and May 2007

Our goal is to identify significant changes in sentiment – either positive or negative – among RIAs whose clients are HNW and especially UHNW investors.  Our methodology is explained below.  In the PDF version we provide complete tables of the 20 funds with the largest current AUM in the full AP Universe, as well as in each of the three tiers based on account size (Largest Accounts, Mid-Sized Accounts, and Smallest Accounts).
 
As background, here are the changes across the AP Universe over the current measurement period:

Segment

% Change
in AUM

Change in # of
Accounts

% Change in
 Accounts

Full AP Universe

-3.5%

-1,485

-2.7%

Largest Accounts

-3.3%

-870

-6.8%

Mid-Size Accounts

-8.2%

875

5.4%

Smallest Accounts

1.9%

1,541

6.1%


During the fourth quarter, US markets declined by 21.87% (based on SPY) and developed non-US markets declined by 19.75% (based on EFA).  Changes in AUM of the AP Universe are due to changes in the number of accounts and advisors in the universe, as well as any increases or decreases of the value of the assets already in the universe.

Below are some of the significant changes in the AP Universe:

Funds Exhibiting Significant Gains

VFIIX (VANGUARD GOVERNMENT NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION FUND)

XLU (UTILITIES SELECT SPDRS)

VTI (VANGUARD TOTAL ETF)

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