After yanking more than $150 billion from U.S. stock mutual funds last year, investors began to put their money back into the market at the start of 2013. A lot of it.
U.S. stock mutual funds gained $8 billion in the week ended Jan. 9, according to the Investment Company Institute. That's the highest amount since the ICI began keeping records in 2007.
The massive inflow represents a significant departure from the recent trend of investors fleeing the stock market.
Market timing can be tricky and more often than not, individual investors have tended to come in late on the rally. With stocks at five-highs, it remains to be seen if the inflows (and the bull market) will continue.
Meanwhile, investors also plowed a huge sum into international stock market mutual funds. According to ICI, global equity funds raked in $6.8 billion during the first full week of 2013, the most since April 2012. Similar data from EPFR Global, a Boston-based firm that tracks fund flows, showed that emerging market funds in particular attracted investors at the start of the year.
The combined $14.8 billion that went into U.S. and global equity funds was also a record based on ICI's data.
Even with the threat of the bond bubble bursting this year, investors extended their strong love for bonds, adding nearly $10 billion to bond mutual funds during the first week, according to ICI. In 2012, investors flooded bond funds with more than $300 billion.
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