Domestic large-cap funds were the most popular sub-asset class, with 54% of advisors reporting meaningful or significant use. Large-cap funds were more popular than either mid-cap (19%) or small-cap funds (12%). Large-cap stock funds also handily beat the sub-asset classes in fixed income, perhaps reflecting the recent strong gains in equities relative to the low yields available in fixed income markets.
The most popular bond funds among advisors were municipal bond funds (13%), followed closely by core corporate bond funds (10%). Emerging market bonds were the least favored by advisors at only 1%, reflecting concerns about how a Federal Reserve interest rate hike may affect emerging markets debt.
Advisors looking to provide their clients’ portfolios with modest exposure or more to investments outside of the U.S. tend to slightly favor international funds over global funds, while the popularity of either of those strategies exceeds that of a more regional approach or seeking exposure to emerging markets.
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