Investors are pouring more money into U.S. stock mutual funds than they have in 13 years, enticed by a market nearing record highs and stung by bond losses that would deepen if interest rates rise further. Stock funds gained $172 billion in the yearâ€™s first 10 months, the largest amount since they netted $272 billion in all of 2000, according to Morningstar Inc. (MORN) estimates. With most of the cash going to international funds, domestic equity deposits are the highest since 2004. The move marks a reversal from the four years through 2012, when investors put $1 trillion into fixed income as the financial crisis drove many to redeem shares and miss out on profits as Standard & Poorâ€™s 500 Index almost tripled from its low. Rare losses this year in core bond portfolios, coupled with a 25 percent gain in the S&P 500, spurred a switch back to equities that some professionals call risky performance chasing. â€śThe timing of retail investors tends to be terrible,â€ť said Jonathan Pond, an independent financial adviser in Newton, Mass. New fund deposits may be a contrarian indicator to show when a market is nearing a top, he said.
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