Bill Gross’s Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX), the world’s biggest mutual fund, attracted $835 million of investor deposits in February as performance rebounded.
The new money marked a second month of assets going into the fund, after three straight months of redemptions from Pimco Total Return, according to data compiled by Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. (MORN) Investors pulled about $3 billion from the fund in the three months ended Dec. 31, bringing withdrawals last year to $5 billion, Morningstar said.
The $250 billion Pimco Total Return has advanced 2.8 percent this year, beating 95 percent of similarly managed funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fund last year rose 4.2 percent, lagging behind 69 percent of its peers, after Gross missed a rally in U.S. Treasuries and put money into riskier assets.
“Pimco Total Return’s rebound in flows isn’t surprising given the fund’s recovery in performance and the fading memory of Bill Gross’s missed call on Treasuries in 2011,” Sylvester Flood, product manager for asset flows and manager research at Morningstar, said in an e-mail. “Perhaps a better explanatory factor, however, is that loads of money is being plowed into taxable bond funds.”
Investors put more than $24 billion in taxable bond funds in January, and February may have had even higher deposits, Flood said.
Gross, who eliminated Treasuries from the fund a year ago, reversed his position and boosted the portion of assets in U.S. government and Treasury debt to 38 percent as of the end of January, according to data on Pimco’s website. An exchange- traded version of Pimco Total Return opened today under the ticker symbol TRXT.
Investors put a net $2.4 billion into Jeffrey Gundlach’s DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund (DBLTX) in February, the most yet for the fund that opened in April 2010, according to Morningstar. Gundlach’s fund rose 9.5 percent in 2011 to beat all of its rivals.
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