Wooden shelves on the wall with golden piggy bank, isolated on white, 3D illustration.

Mutual fund sales roared back last year, and ETF sales surged too, according to the latest data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).

The industry trade group reported that mutual fund sales finished the year at $112.7 billion, up from $30.8 billion the previous year.

Long-term fund sales were stronger at $120.1 billion, while $7.5 billion was redeemed from money market funds in 2021.

Want more immediate, memorable insights? Listen to this Soundbites episode, featuring John Yanchus of Canada Life.

Balanced funds led the way with just under $63 billion in net sales for the year, up from a mere $854 million last year.

Equity fund sales were also strong, finishing the year at more than $37 billion, compared with $6.7 billion in 2020.

Conversely, bond fund sales dipped a bit in 2021, slipping from $15.4 billion to $14.4 billion.

Despite the strong year, sales were weaker in December. IFIC reported that mutual funds generated just $879 million in net sales last month, down from $7.4 billion in November.

While balanced funds managed $1.5 billion in monthly net sales, that was largely offset by $1.4 billion in net redemptions from bond funds.

Despite the surge in mutual fund sales, industry assets were up just 16.4% in the year, IFIC reported.

Assets under management finished the year at $2.08 trillion, up from $1.8 trillion at the start of the year.

On the ETF side of the industry, IFIC reported higher overall sales in 2021, although sales didn’t rise as sharply for ETFs as they did for mutual funds.

Full-year ETF sales totalled $58.7 billion, up from $41.5 billion in 2020.

Equity funds led the way among ETFs, with $34.5 billion in net sales, up from $23.8 billion in 2020.

Bond and balanced fund sales also rose year over year. Bond funds recorded $12.4 billion in net sales, up from $11.06 billion; and balanced funds generated almost $4 billion in net sales, up from $2.03 billion in 2020.

December’s ETF sales also held up much better than mutual fund sales. Monthly net sales for ETFs reached $5.6 billion, up from $5.1 billion in November.

Equity fund sales slipped to $3.3 billion in December, down from $3.9 billion the previous month. However, bond fund sales jumped to over $1.2 billion from just $146 million in November.

ETF assets finished the year at $347.4 billion, up by around 35% from $257.3 billion at the end 2020.