As Canadians rushed to top off their registered retirement savings plans before the March 2 deadline, mutual fund sales nearly doubled in February.
Numbers released by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) show that total net sales of mutual funds came to $10.8 billion last month. This is a little more than twice as much as the net sales of $5.36 billion reported in January, and is also 16.5% higher than the $9.27 billion of net sales reported for February of 2014. As for total mutual fund assets under management (AUM), they came to $1,218 billion. This represents an increase over the $1,180 billion reported in January 2015 for a gain of 3.2%.
Broken down by fund type, balanced funds attracted the most money from investors with net sales in February totalling $8.56 billion compared to net sales of $4.40 billion in the previous month. Year-to-date net sales in this category totalled $12.9 billion compared to net sales of $12.1 billion for the same period last year.
Equity funds were the second most popular fund category last month, with net sales of $1.99 billion. This is significantly higher than the net equity fund sales of $554.7 million recorded in January. Year-to-date net sales for equity funds totalled $2.55 billion compared to net sales of $3.60 billion for the same period last year.
Bond funds sales were slower in February, with net purchases of just $2.60 million. This is down from the net sales of $142.8 million recorded for this category in the previous month. Year-to-date net sales for bond funds totalled $145.4 million, while there were redemptions of $795.4 million in the same period last year.
As for money market funds, they posted net redemptions of $123.5 million last month and year-to-date net redemptions of $283.1 million.