“In the final issue of Insight in 2004 that will contain a research article, we continue a custom we began in 2002. First, as RRSP season approaches, we check on how the mutual funds industry has done this year in marketing long-term mutual funds. Then, with an appropriate fanfare, we update our ongoing Honour Roll of best sellers.
Last November we described 2003 as a year of “waiting.” Overall, long- term fund sales were weak to non-existent, but redemptions were also in check. Investors were treading water, in effect. This year they began to swim and produced a significant up-tick in both gross sales and net flows. But they stuck mainly to the shallow, seemingly safer, end of the pool by concentrating on income-oriented bond, equity income and balanced funds. We might as well dub 2004 the year of “conservative choice”—without any reference to the U.S. election.”