The Morningstar Global Asset Flows Report examines worldwide mutual fund and exchange-traded product asset flows, and also showed that 2015 inflows globally were one-third lower than in 2014 at $949bn. Total flows in in 2014 were $1.4trn (£978.8bn, €1.2trn).
“2015 brought growing uncertainty for markets worldwide, fuelled by changes in monetary policies in the United States and Europe, slowing economic growth around the world, and slumping commodity prices, especially oil," said Alina Lamy, senior markets analyst for Morningstar.
”Accordingly, inflows were lower in 2015 than 2014, and total assets decreased as global markets posted negative returns.”
The Morningstar report is based on assets reported by more than 3,800 fund groups across 82 domiciles and represents more than 92,000 fund portfolios in four region-specific sections: United States, Europe, Australia, and Latin America.
Alternative funds saw double-digit organic growth and exhibited the highest growth among the global categories in the study, supported by investors' desire for diversification in the uncertain investment climate, according to the authors of the report.
Meanwhile, the majority of world leader Vanguard's $251bn inflows went to its passive funds, but its active funds also gathered inflows of $15bn. Fidelity and JP Morgan saw the highest 2015 inflows among active fund providers; $57bn and $23bn respectively.
The US saw new asset flows of $263bn, down from $580bn in 2014, and had the highest percentage of passive assets of all regions.
“Whereas US-domiciled funds attracted the largest flows in 2014, we saw smaller and more evenly distributed flows across regions in 2015,” added Lamy.