The investors buying into stocks and sending the Dow up 53% since its March 9 low have continued to be pension plans and hedge funds; retail investors in mutual funds are certainly not driving those sales, the Washington Post reports. Only in the past two weeks have fund companies and financial advisers heard from retail investors curious about re-entering the market.
“For the first six months of the year, people just had their heads down,” said Dan Lash, a Vienna, Va., financial planner. “I don’t know how many people told me they haven’t looked at their statements. Last year is going to change people’s risk tolerance for a long time to come.”
In the rocky months between September 2008 when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and the stock market began its freefall, and March, when the market bottomed out, investors withdrew $205 billion out of equity funds and moved $357 billion into money market funds, according to the Investment Company Institute. Since the market’s rebound, only $56 billion has returned to stock funds.
“This market rise certainly is not being driven by mutual fund investors,” said Brian Reid, chief economist at the ICI. “Mutual fund flows are not causing this run-up, and I would think that probably carries over for retail investors in general.”