Investors are abandoning equity funds for bond funds and are also giving growth the thumbs down, according to Lipper and Investment Company Institute data. Even among equity funds, the more staid asset classes have been faring well, according to the ICI. Lipper reported net outflows of $1 billion from equity funds in January, representing the first January equity fund outflow since 1990. Bond fund net sales were up $13 billion.

"The turn of the year often marks a time for reassessment and defining direction for the year ahead, and it appears investors have said yes to income and no to growth," said Don Cassidy, senior analyst at Lipper.

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