Equity funds pulled in $23.3 billion in March, less than half of the $50 billion gained in January, according to Lipper of New York. The $23.3 billion also represents about a 25% drop off from February's tally. Investors reduced their net purchases of equity funds, but did add shorter-maturity bond funds to their holdings in the month.

"Choppy and slightly downtrending stock prices, the Spanish railway bombing, recurring bad news from Iraq and concerns over rising interest rates combined to cool equity-fund buyers' ardor for making current purchase decisions," said Don Cassidy, a senior research analyst at Lipper.

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.