A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Fund Investors Pull $56 Billion in Biggest Exit Since 2008

(Bloomberg) -- Investors are bailing out of mutual funds as if it were 2008.

Mutual funds suffered redemptions of $56.2 billion in the week ended Dec. 19. That’s the biggest outflow since the week ended Oct. 15, 2008, according to data released Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute. And the numbers over the last several weeks have only gotten worse as the chart below shows.

Fund Investors Pull $56 Billion in Biggest Exit Since 2008

Yet even as investors were dumping mutual funds last week, they added $25.2 billion to exchange-traded funds. And a group of optimists -- corporate insiders -- have stepped up their buying over the past two months.

The exit from funds came as stocks have plunged on fears of a slowing global economy and President Donald Trump’s criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The S&P 500 index lost 5.4 percent in the week ended Dec. 19.

Here’s the breakdown of the funds investors pulled money from:

Fund TypeWeek Ended Dec. 19
Total equity-$27.04B
Domestic equity-$12.68B
World equity-$14.36B
Hybrid funds-$9.56B
Total bond-$19.6B
Taxable bond-$18.47B
Municipal bond-$1.14B

Pointing to the flow of money into ETFs, ICI Chief Economist Sean Collins said in a statement that it reinforced the view that “some investors view periods of volatility as a buying opportunity.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.