U.S. Equity Funds Post Slower Inflows


This post is by Dorothy Neufeld from Visual Capitalist


bar chart showing the decline in inflows to US equity funds

The Briefing

  • U.S. equity fund flows sank to $48 billion in February, a 70% decline from March 2021
  • Large growth funds continue to see outflows as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalates

U.S. Equity Funds Post Slower Inflows

Investors are bracing for several interest rate hikes amid a Russia-Ukraine war.

In February, U.S. equity fund flows hit $48 billion, a 70% decline from the year before. In the previous month, U.S. equity fund flows hit their lowest level since the pandemic began.

With data from Morningstar, we show how the invasion of Ukraine and a rising rate environment has affected U.S. equity fund flows.

Risk-Off Environment

In January, investors shed a record $23 billion from large growth funds, the highest level since 2017. This trend continued in February as investors sought out lower-risk investments.

Growth stocks historically tend to outperform when interest rates are declining. When the price of capital is low, companies borrow and expand operations at a lower cost.

The reverse is true when rates rise, putting pressure on corporate earnings and equity valuations. In March 2022, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time since 2018.

Growth funds also tend to be more volatile during market selloffs. So far in 2022, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is up more than 40%.

Fund CategoryJanuary 2022 Estimated Net FlowFebruary Estimated Net Flow
Large Growth

-$23.2B-$6.0B
Mid-Cap Growth-$3.5B-$1.2B
Small Growth-$2.7B-$1.1B
Large Blend-$3.5B$38.5B
Mid-Cap Blend$0.7B$2.1B
Small Blend (Read more...)