Exchange-traded fund (ETF) sales trounced mutual fund sales in April, according to the latest data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).
IFIC reported that mutual funds suffered a month of net redemptions in April, with $1.0 billion flowing out of the sector. At the same time, ETFs generated $2.4 billion in monthly net sales.
Equity mutual funds were the biggest weak spot, with $2.1 billion in net redemptions for the month, up from just under $900 million the previous month.
Balanced funds also recorded $922 million in monthly net redemptions, pushing the category’s total for 2019 to $1.24 billion.
However, bond funds were in the black for April, with almost $1.5 billion in monthly net sales. This was down from March’s $1.8 billion.
Specialty funds generated $673 million in net sales, down from $779 million in March.
Overall, long-term mutual funds saw $925 million in monthly net redemptions and money market funds added another $80 million.
Despite the weak sales, mutual fund assets still rose by $31.4 billion in April to $1.56 trillion.
Equity ETFs did much better than mutual funds, with net sales rising to $782 million in April from $223 million in March.
Balanced ETFs also had positive net sales of $193 million, down a bit from $233 million the previous month.
Bond ETFs recorded $1.38 billion in monthly net sales, up from $1.3 billion in March.
The specialty category was the only class of ETFs to see negative net sales in April, and at $31 million, this represented a reduction from $41 million in the previous month.
ETF assets grew by $5.9 billion in April to $178.7 billion, IFIC also reported.
While the absolute rise in ETF assets remains much smaller than for mutual funds, the rate of growth is notably higher (3.4% for ETFs versus 2.0% for mutual funds).