The June issue of Insight updates the regional breakdown of mutual fund assets and sales activity that we last featured in May 2007. Our analysis also includes up-to-date metrics from our recently published Household Balance Sheet Report: 2008 Statistical Update and Rebased Forecast.
The feature research article examines the mutual fund asset base of each region, including the recent and longer-term growth trends. The fund industry regional views are supplemented by a review of the relative importance of mutual fund investments to households in the various regions. The article concludes with individual regional capsules, including a breakdown of mutual fund assets and net new money by short- and long-term offerings, regional company rankings, and a special focus on cross-regional differences in the importance of deposit-takers’ mutual fund complexes.
The June Trend Lines article looks at segregated funds, which in the past 18 months have been the object of renewed interest in the retail investment community. Sales were re-energized by the introduction of the guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit, initially launched by Manulife in October 2006, and now also offered by three other life insurance companies. A further boost came from shaky equity markets during the second half of 2007, as advisors and investors focused on the fact that segregated funds offer—among other features—different levels of capital protection.