OptionMetrics, an options database and analytics provider for international institutional investors and academic researchers, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.

With data available for U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Canada, as well as global indices—OptionMetrics is a leading financial data company used by hundreds of institutions, including most of the top 50 business schools worldwide, and thousands of professionals in financial services to shape risk and return.

However, in 1999, when options were viewed by the financial community with skepticism, and often considered a “niche” investment, it was a leap of faith for David Hait, PhD, former VP of the Fixed Income Research Group at Paine Webber, and instructor on derivatives at J. P. Morgan, to start the company.

“We started OptionMetrics because of the void in the marketplace for accurate, thorough, reliable options data,” said OptionMetrics Founder and CEO David Hait. “We have remained committed to providing the most comprehensive, historical options database in the industry, even as the role of options have evolved dramatically through the decades—from being used for simple hedging or high-risk, speculative strategies by sophisticated ‘quant shops’ in the ‘old days’ to today increasingly being used by savvy investors and advisors to shape risk and return in hedge funds, investment portfolios, and pension plans.”

In 2018, a record five billion option contracts were cleared in the U.S. by the OCC alone. And options trading continues to pick up in Europe, Canada, and Asia.

Passive and Active Funds Take a Hit in May

Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, recently reported estimated U.S. mutual fund and ETF fund flows for May 2019. Overall, passive U.S. equity funds saw $2.7 billion in outflows while active U.S. equity funds lost $12.9 billion to outflows in May–$15.6 billion combined.

With additional funds reporting assets after the April fund flows report published, Morningstar data shows about $89.0 billion between active and passive U.S. equity funds reaching parity. Morningstar estimates net flow for mutual funds by computing the change in assets not explained by the performance of the fund, and net flow for U.S. ETFs shares outstanding and reported net assets.

Morningstar’s report about U.S. fund flows for May is available here. Highlights from the report include:

  • Fund flows were weak across the board in May, with long-term funds losing nearly $2.0 billion to outflows, the worst month year-to-date as investors cut risk. Money-market funds saw inflows of $82.0 billion, the group’s second-best month in 10 years.
  • Among category groups, taxable-bond inflows fell from $42.6 billion in April to $15.4 billion in May, the group’s worst showing year-to-date. Overall, credit-oriented high-yield bond and bank loan funds fared worst, losing $5.8 billion and $3.1 billion to outflows, respectively.
  • Among all U.S. fund families, Vanguard led with $16.7 billion in inflows, followed by $5.1 billion from Fidelity; iShares’ flows were flat. At the other end of the spectrum, State Street Global Advisors saw $22.6 billion in outflows, followed by Invesco’s $5.8 billion in outflows.
  • Invesco QQQ Trust, which holds a Morningstar Analyst Rating™ of Neutral, saw outflows of $3.3 billion in May. Conversely, active-oriented American Funds had $2.7 billion in inflows, with much of that demand coming through its target-date lineup.

To view the complete report, please click here.

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