Equity and balanced funds containing a mix of stocks and bonds will take in a record $330 billion this year, according to Strategic Insight. This will top $307 billion these funds reaped in 2000.

If the stock markets continue to deliver strong performance in 2005, equity and balanced funds could take in even more money in the New Year, said Avi Nachmany, head of research at Strategic Insight. "This record reflects extraordinary investment and personal confidence among individual investors in America and should signal further interest in such investments during 2005," Nachmany said.

By category, international and global funds saw the greatest increase in flows. They took in more than $100 billion, compared with $41 billion the year before, according to Strategic Insight. Funds-of-funds reaped more than $60 billion in net flows, compared with $37 billion in 2003. Exchange-traded funds took in $50 billion. Among sector funds, natural resource funds saw $12 billion in net flows, and real estate funds saw $10 billion.

Mutual fund assets in the United States could readily top $8.5 trillion this year, up from $7.9 trillion at the end of 2003, Strategic Insight said.

Among smaller mutual fund complexes, those experiencing the biggest increase in assets during the year were Calamos, First Eagle, Royce, Rydex, Julius Baer, Princor, Russell Investment Group, WM Advisors, Cohen & Steers and Third Avenue.

The research firm counts among equity and balanced funds all types of open and closed-end funds, as well as variable annuity sub-accounts, index funds, exchange-traded funds and funds-of-funds.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.