Bill Gross’ Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX), the world’s largest mutual fund, attracted $32 million in investor deposits in March, the lowest amount since December 2011.
The Total Return Fund drew $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2013, according to data from Chicago-based research firm Morningstar. Investors last year poured $18 billion into the fund, which has assets of about $289 billion.
Investors anticipating an end to the 30-year bond rally are turning to stocks as the U.S. economy shows signs of strengthening and equities have rallied to record levels, erasing losses from the 2008 financial crisis. Mutual funds that buy U.S. stocks have drawn an estimated $18.5 billion this year through March 20, compared with withdrawals of $16.4 billion in the first three months of 2012, according to the Washington-based Investment Company Institute. The renewed demand hasn’t come at the expense of bond funds, which gathered $57.6 billion this year through March 20, ICI’s data show.
Pacific Investment Management Co.’s flagship fund had $1.35 billion in withdrawals in the final month of 2011 and its first ever annual redemptions that year of about $5 billion as Gross trailed some rivals, according to data from Morningstar. Last year, the Total Return Fund rebounded as it advanced 10.4%, beating 95% of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This year, the fund returned 0.7%, ahead of 89% of similarly managed funds.
Gross decreased his holdings of Treasuries in February to 28% from 30% in January, according to the company’s website. He cut mortgage holdings to 36%, the lowest level since August 2011, from 37% in January.
Pimco, based in Newport Beach, California, is a unit of Munich-based insurer Allianz SE and manages $2 trillion in assets.