Fund Facts: Stuff About Mutual Funds You May Not Have Known

Jun 6, 2022
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The 2022 edition of the Investment Company Institute Fact Book, released in late May, serves up an abundance of data about the fund industry. (ICI is the trade association for the mutual fund business.)

Here are a few of the Fact Book’s many data points:

  • The number of U.S.-based traditional mutual funds has remained relatively steady over the past 22 years (with some ebb and flow). But the number of exchange-traded funds has grown remarkably.

  • Fund assets have nearly tripled over the past decade or so, and index funds (both ETFs and traditional-fund versions) have gained significant market share.

  • By a large margin, most of the roughly $27 trillion invested in mutual funds is held by households, not by institutional investors.

  • Most fund investors identify "saving for retirement" as their primary reason for investing via mutual funds. Many also place a high priority on saving for emergencies and deferring taxes.

  • The vast majority of Roth IRA investors, even those age 70 or older, rarely take withdrawals — suggesting that they plan to pass on most of their Roth assets to their heirs, or perhaps are holding on to those resources to cover possible health-related expenses late in life.

  • Finally, a table summarizing mutual fund ownership by households.

The complete 250-page Investment Company Institute Fact Book is available free at

It’s not a rip-roaring page-turner, but if you’re a "data geek", you’ll likely find many of its charts, graphs, and tables quite interesting!

Written by

Joseph Slife

Joseph Slife

Joseph Slife has been a news writer for the Associated Press, a college instructor, and a radio host. He and his wife Joye have three grown sons.

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