Morningstar, Inc. today released some sobering news about the alternative mutual fund space.

According to its fourth-annual national survey examining the perception and usage of alternative investments among institutions and financial advisors, the survey found that alternative mutual funds saw inflows of $23.2 billion in 2011($14.2 billion excluding the nontraditional bond category), while U.S. equity mutual funds bled $84.7 billion. However, inflows were lower than prior years, and alternative exchange-traded fund inflows for 2011 were only $11.6 billion, the lowest level since 2006.

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