Investment fund assets in Canada grew 11 per cent in 2020

By Kate McCaffery | January 27 2021 03:56PM

Photo: Unsplash

The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) released its annual summary data on mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) sales and assets under management for all of 2020 in its recent 2020 Investment Funds Report. It found Canadian investment fund assets totalled $2.04-trillion at the end of 2020, with mutual funds making up $1.78-trillion of the total and ETFs accounting for $257-billion.  

“Due to positive sales and positive market effect, mutual fund and ETF assets increased by a combined 11 per cent throughout 2020,” say the report’s authors. “Over the last ten years, assets have grown by two and a half times, adding $1.23-trillion.” 

IFIC says there were 112 companies offering mutual funds at the end of 2020, a decrease of five firms during the year. The number of available mutual funds also decreased by 37 during the year, bringing the total number of funds available to 3,459. At the end of 2020, 39 investment fund companies were offering ETFs. On a net basis, 107 ETFs were added during the year, bringing the total number of ETFs available to 853. IFIC says the majority of new ETF launches were active ETFs.  

Investment fund sales totalled $72.5-billion during the year, with mutual funds bringing in $31-billion during the year, while ETFs sold $41.5-billion. “Despite the global pandemic and the related market crash in the first quarter of the year, 2020 recorded the highest mutual fund sales over the last three years and ETFs recorded the highest sales on record,” they add. “Compared to 2019, mutual fund sales increased by 83 per cent in 2020, whereas ETFs increased by 48 per cent.” 

Looking at responsible investment (RI) mutual funds and ETFs, meanwhile, IFIC says $17.3-billion and $2.8-billion was invested in RI mutual funds and ETFs, respectively at the end of 2020. “This represents one per cent of total mutual fund assets and 1.1 per cent of total ETF assets,” they write. “Despite the small relative amount of mutual fund and ETF assets, there were 26 firms offering a total of 94 responsible investment mutual funds and 13 firms offering 50 responsible investment ETFs.” They add that the number of firms offering RI mutual funds grew by 10 in 2020, while the number of firms offering RI ETFs grew by three. All told, IFIC says responsible investment fund assets grew by 55 per cent in 2020, compared to 11 per cent growth for the fund industry overall. 

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