A record $24 billion of investment funds had flowed out of equities in the United States by yesterday‚??s market close for the week through Feb. 5, according to EPFR Global, a fund research company. Of that total, $14.8 billion flowed out into global debt, with the lion‚??s share of that amount — $13.8 billion — going directly to U.S. bond funds. Demand for these ‚??safer‚?Ě securities arose from a slowdown in U.S. jobs growth and emerging market turmoil. In addition, the U.S. decision to taper another $10 billion per month from its stimulus purchases led investors to flee higher-risk assets like stocks. What this outflow of funds will do for bond prices going forward is anyone‚??s guess‚?¶ but investors chasing yield may want to look to real estate investment trusts (REITs) for a better return on their money.
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