Mutual Fund Cash Levels

(Updated 06/16/2013)

 

 

The stock market needs cash to fuel a rally.  The following chart shows the Mutual Fund Cash Levels vs. the S&P 500 from 1968.

 

 

 

1)       Major rallies occurred in 1974, 1982, and 1990 when the cash levels were greater than 11%.

2)       The market sold off in 1973, 1976, 2000 and 2007 when cash levels were below 4.5%.

3)       A low of 3.9% in occurred 05/1972. The market top was 12/1972 followed by a 46% decline.

4)       The next historical low was 4.0% on March 2000 as the S&P reached its peak. Prices held up to make a lower high in September 2000 and then sold off for a year to a 43% decline.

5)       The next historical low of 3.5% was set in June and July 2007. The price top occurred several months later in October 2007 and prices sold off for 1.4 years to a 56% decline.

6)       The December level was 3.3% and equal to the historic low set in March 2012 and July 2011. Cash levels have been in a range of 3.4% - 3.8% since July 2010 as stock prices have continued to rise.  This is quite different from prior history and is evidence of the Fed propping up the market. This cannot continue indefinitely. When Fed support ends the market is facing a long decline similar to 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 (40-60%).

7)       The April level was 3.8% with the S&P at 1,597.57.

 

Stock funds posted an inflow of $3.70 billion in April, compared with an inflow of $14.84 billion in March.  Among stock funds, world equity funds (U.S. funds that invest primarily overseas) posted an inflow of $5.31 billion in April vs. an inflow of $12.53 billion in March. Funds that invest primarily in the United States had an outflow of $1.60 billion in April, vs. an inflow of $2.31 billion in March.

 

 

 

 

Stock Funds

 

 

Net Cash Flows

Cash Level

 

 

M$

%

S&P

2010/05

(24,700)

3.5

1,089.41

2010/06

(6,640)

3.7

1,030.71

2010/07

(10,450)

3.4

1,101.60

2010/08

(16,496)

3.5

1,049.33

2010/09

(10,676)

3.4

1,141.20

2010/10

(670)

3.5

1,183.26

2010/11

(208)

3.6

1,180.55

2010/12

758

3.5

1,257.64

2011/01

18,556

3.5

1,286.12

2011/02

11,410

3.5

1,327.22

2011/03

2,047

3.4

1,325.83

2011/04

6,338

3.4

1,363.61

2011/05

(4,391)

3.4

1,345.20

2011/06

(22,630)

3.4

1,320.64

2011/07

(31,765)

3.3

1,292.28

2011/08

(29,372)

3.7

1,218.89

2011/09

(11,980)

4

1,131.42

2011/10

(20,372)

3.6

1,253.30

2011/11

(18,649)

3.6

1,246.96

2011/12

(28,841)

3.5

1,257.60

2011 YTD

(129,649)

 

 

2012/01

(423)

3.6

1,312.41

2012/02

1,378

3.5

1,365.68

2012/03

(9,789)

3.6

1,408.47

2012/04

(5,860)

3.4

1,397.91

2012/05

(9,768)

3.7

1,310.33

2012/06

(6,168)

3.8

1,362.16

2012/07

(9,447)

4.1

1,379.32

2012/08

(18,301)

4.0

1,406.58

2012/09

(24,444)

3.8

1,440.67

2012/10

(16,399)

3.8

1,412.16

2012/11

(23,178)

3.6

1,416.18

2012/12

(30,465)

3.3

1,426.19

2012 YTD

(152,864)

 

 

2013/01

37,780

3.7

1,498.11

2013/02

14,166

3.8

1,514.68

2013/03

14,839

3.7

1,569.19

2013/04

3,703

3.8

1,597.57

2013 YTD

70,488