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Retail investors claim center stage in late January

Although the overall pattern of fund flows during the fourth week of the New Year suggested investors are still positioning themselves for a rebound in the global economy and looking for hedges if that rebound comes with an inflationary sting in the tail, it was the activities of retail investors that dominated the financial headlines. Retail investors have now committed fresh money to EPFR-tracked Equity Funds for 12 straight weeks, and their utilization of platforms such as Reddit and Robinhood is sounding alarm bells among regulators, institutional investors and hedge fund managers.

The trend has been visible in EPFR flow data since the second quarter of last year, but it accelerated during the fourth quarter. These retail investors have, however, have been largely focused on building exposure to the global reflation story and China’s head start in the rebound stakes. Global Equity Funds have recorded retail inflows 23 of the past 25 weeks while China Equity Funds’ retail inflow streak currently stands at 32 weeks and $10.5 billion.


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