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Bond funds with the biggest 10-year net flows

The 20 bond funds with the biggest 10-year net flows are home to nearly $1.3 trillion in assets, Morningstar Data show. Over that period, these funds raked in a combined $601.3 billion in net assets and bested the broader bond market with an average gain of more than 3.9%. The edges past the iShares Core US Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG) fund tracker, which returned 3.8% over the period.

In the first six months of 2020, the top 20 funds’ performance has lagged. The group, which includes 11 mutual funds and nine ETFs, has seen net inflows of nearly $26.6 billion this year. They’ve also generated a year-to-date gain of around 5.2%, well below the AGG’s 7.38% over the same period, data show.

“You're starting to see a lot more assets gravitate towards ETFs,” notes Marc Pfeffer, CIO of CLS Investments, adding that aside from their low fees, a lot of funds gaining notoriety on this list “has to do with the intraday liquidity that you don't get from a mutual fund.”

Fees among the 20 bond funds with the biggest net flows are lower than their peers. With an average net expense ratio of just 20 basis points, these funds were nearly a third the cost of the average U.S. fixed-income fund, which carried a fee of 0.59%, data show. The funds were also more than half the 0.45% investors paid on average for fund investing overall last year, according to Morningstar’s most recent annual fee survey.

Thirteen of the funds came from Vanguard and BlackRock.

“Even though these funds continue to pick up assets, there are plenty of other fixed-income mutual funds and ETFs out there that are not on this list that have done well,” Pfeffer says, adding that “a lot of people use them for their size name recognition. Many money managers and hedge funds could be using some of these as asset allocators when going in and out of the equity market.”

Scroll through to see the 20 fixed-income funds with the biggest 10-year net flows through July 23. Funds with less than $500 million in AUM and with investment minimums over $100,000 were excluded, as were leveraged and institutional funds. Assets and expense ratios, as well as year-to-date and one-, three-, five- and 10-year flows and returns are listed for each. The data show each fund's primary share class. All data is from Morningstar Direct.

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Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Admiral (VFIDX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $1,100.87
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $2,573.63
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $9,333.30
YTD Return: 8.38%
1-Yr. Return: 11.04%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 6.21%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.4%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.14%
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iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $3,023.03
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $11,389.18
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $12,859.17
YTD Return: 11.59%
1-Yr. Return: 13.64%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 6.62%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.97%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.62%
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Vanguard Limited-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral (VMLUX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $1,487.84
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $5,079.97
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $8,424.99
YTD Return: 2.3%
1-Yr. Return: 3.16%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.56%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.16%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 1.93%
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Vanguard Short-Term Investment-Grade Admiral (VFSUX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $264.84
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($216.43)
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $4,904.12
YTD Return: 3.8%
1-Yr. Return: 5.4%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.6%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.12%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.77%
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iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF (SHV)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($1,650.07)
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $17,787.52
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $20,731.92
YTD Return: 0.83%
1-Yr. Return: 1.73%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 1.75%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 1.19%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 0.61%
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Lord Abbett Short Duration Income F (LDLFX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $1,380.21
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $5,173.65
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $9,656.59
YTD Return: 0.62%
1-Yr. Return: 2.18%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.71%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.62%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.01%
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Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $1,515.25
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $1,780.22
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $7,478.66
YTD Return: 4.18%
1-Yr. Return: 5.61%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.39%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.6%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.1%
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iShares MBS ETF (MBB)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $3,889.70
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $10,434.95
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $13,785.01
YTD Return: 3.59%
1-Yr. Return: 5.33%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.71%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 3%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 2.76%
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iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $9,863.03
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $10,297.50
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $14,156.12
YTD Return: -1.59%
1-Yr. Return: 2.13%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.56%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.63%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.7%
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Dodge & Cox Income (DODIX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($55.54)
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $5,918.41
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $8,649.65
YTD Return: 7.23%
1-Yr. Return: 10.08%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.82%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.08%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.65%
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PGIM Total Return Bond Z (PDBZX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $7,052.54
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $16,304.92
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $22,396.33
YTD Return: 5.87%
1-Yr. Return: 9.11%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.84%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.31%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.35%
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Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCSH)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $4,328.09
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $8,522.82
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $17,733.25
YTD Return: 3.61%
1-Yr. Return: 5.62%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.82%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.31%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.09%
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Strategic Advisers Core Income (FPCIX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($3,836.71)
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $2,278.05
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $4,353.67
YTD Return: 7.53%
1-Yr. Return: 10.15%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.69%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.91%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.46%
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DoubleLine Total Return Bond I (DBLTX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($3,115.52)
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($4,781.26)
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $439.46
YTD Return: 3.2%
1-Yr. Return: 4.63%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.86%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.49%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.1%
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Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF (VCIT)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $10,518.21
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $18,580.85
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $28,176.41
YTD Return: 7.3%
1-Yr. Return: 10.97%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 6.59%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.99%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.77%
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iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $13,021.80
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $12,923.77
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $27,059.23
YTD Return: 9.88%
1-Yr. Return: 15.05%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 7.95%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 7.07%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 6.2%
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Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Admiral (VWIUX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $4,387.55
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $16,398.34
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $25,228.54
YTD Return: 3.3%
1-Yr. Return: 4.78%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.02%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.74%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.84%
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iShares Core US Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $7,509.91
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $22,865.67
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $45,284.34
YTD Return: 7.38%
1-Yr. Return: 10.01%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.46%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.42%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.8%
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Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Investor (VTBIX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): ($3,245.60)
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $18,415.82
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $38,335.24
YTD Return: 7.3%
1-Yr. Return: 9.94%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.39%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.35%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.74%
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Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Admiral (VBTLX)
1-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $7,469.58
3-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $24,174.49
5-Yr. Net Flows (millions): $39,184.04
YTD Return: 7.78%
1-Yr. Return: 10.43%
3-Yr. Annualized Return: 5.6%
5-Yr. Annualized Return: 4.5%
10-Yr. Annualized Return: 3.87%