Interesting study on trends in Morningstar platform searches in the year just-ended…
CHICAGO, Feb. 28, 2013—Are institutional investors signaling a return to equities? According to a list of the most-researched investments in Morningstar’s platforms in 2012, about half of the most-researched mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and separate accounts by institutional investors were domestic and international equities. In January 2013, equity mutual funds saw inflows of $15.5 billion, the largest monthly intake to equity funds since 2004 and the first month of inflows to stock funds in nearly two years, according to Morningstar’s U.S. mutual fund asset flows report. While institutional investors demonstrated interest in equity funds or strategies in 2012, advisors and individuals were focused on income and risk mitigation.
Highlights of the most-researched investments in Morningstar platforms in 2012:
• Large-cap equity strategies led the list of most-researched separate accounts by institutional investors, including six of the top 10.
• Despite the institutional focus on equities, PIMCO Total Return Fund found a spot on the most-researched investment lists for individual investors, advisors, and institutions alike.
• The four most-viewed ETFs by individual investors, as well as six of the top 10, were from Vanguard, while iShares ETFs were researched most by advisors and institutional investors.
• Dividend focused ETFs were the most viewed investments among individual investors, while advisors showed particular interest in inflation-hedging ETFs, such as SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) and iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (TIP), as well as emerging-markets ETFs.