BOSTON — The newfound confidence that investors showed at the start of the year held up through the end of January. It has boosted cash flows into stock mutual funds to the highest levels in years.
By one measure, funds attracted cash at the fastest pace in 17 years. Lipper reports that stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds attracted more than $34 billion for the four weeks ended Jan. 30. That’s the largest four-week total since 1996.
Other fund researchers also report high levels of cash coming in as stock prices climbed to five-year highs. January was the first month since February 2012 that U.S. stock fund deposits exceeded withdrawals.
If stock funds continue to attract cash, 2013 could be the first year of net deposits since 2006.