Investor money is hemorrhaging out of global stock funds at a pace not seen since just after the financial crisis exploded.
Global equity funds have seen outflows of $12.4 billion in June, a level not seen since October 2008, according to market research firm TrimTabs. Lehman Brothers collapsed in September of that year, triggering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and helping fuel a bear market that would see major indexes lose more than 60 percent of their value.
The most recent exodus, which includes exchange-traded and mutual funds, comes amid worries that the much-touted synchronized global expansion is running out of gas, as well as some unwinding of what had been a hugely successful trade in emerging market stocks.
The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, which tracks the group, surged more than 18 percent in a five-month span from July 2017 to January 2018, but has given back a big chunk of those gains in 2018 and is down about 10.3 percent year to date. By comparison, the S&P 500 has risen nearly 1 percent during a volatile 2018, while the Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund, which tracks global equities minus the U.S., is off more than 6.5 percent this year.