Behind the enduring value of mutual funds

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The growth of ETFs continues to dominate headlines, so it can be easy to forget just how large the Canadian mutual fund industry is.

In its most recent annual report on the Canadian investment fund space, the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) noted that out of $2.04 trillion in assets invested across the industry at the end of 2020, mutual funds accounted for $1.78 trillion.

And while ETF sales have outpaced mutual funds over the past three years, gross sales for the latter have been on a continuous upward trend, reaching their highest-ever end-of-year level at $300 billion by December 31. Even with a slowdown in new product development, Canada’s mutual-fund space still represents an immense universe – encompassing a diversity of themes, sectors, asset classes, and geographic exposures – with over 3,000 options for Canadian investors.