Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mutual Fund Withdrawals a Record as Investors Flee (Update1)

Investors pulled a record $52.1 billion from U.S.-managed stock and bond mutual funds in the past week, seeking the safety of government-insured bank deposits as the financial crisis worsened.

Shareholders took $43.3 billion from stock funds and $8.8 billion from bond funds in the week ended Oct. 8, according to data compiled by TrimTabs Investment Research in Sausalito, California. The exodus followed $72.3 billion of outflows in September, the most in a single month. Investors deposited $185.5 billion into bank accounts last month through Sept. 22, TrimTabs said, citing U.S. Federal Reserve data.

``People are scared,'' Conrad Gann, TrimTabs' chief operating officer, said in an interview. ``This market is different from what we've seen before.''

The five largest diversified U.S. stock fund managers, including Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group Inc., posted an average 28 percent loss this year through Oct. 6, about 2 percentage points worse than the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, according to Morningstar Inc. Investors mostly switched into fixed-income through August, putting $97 billion into bond funds while withdrawing $74 billion from stock funds, TrimTabs said.
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