Investors' enthusiasm for index funds has not evaporated, but it subsided notably in March.

Index funds suffered net redemptions of approximately $165 million in March, a reversal of fortune for a category which had roughly $2 billion of net sales in February and nearly $58.6 billion in net sales in 1999, according to estimates from Financial Research Corp. of Boston, a financial services tracking and consulting firm. The $2 billion in sales in February was the lowest monthly total for index fund sales since October 1998, when the category had approximately $1.3 billion in sales, according to FRC.

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