Focus on Funds

ICI’s Latest Fact Book Reflects an Industry Gone Global

The 2019 Investment Company Fact Book—the 59th edition of ICI’s flagship research publication—offers extensive data and insight on funds and fund investors in the United States and globally. In the May 10, 2019, edition of Focus on Funds, ICI Chief Economist Sean Collins discusses this year’s highlights.


Sean Collins, ICI chief economist: Fact Book is here!

Stephanie Ortbals-Tibbs, ICI director of media relations: A beautiful new cover.

Collins: Yeah, thank you, it’s a glossy cover this year—a little bit of a change.

Ortbals-Tibbs: And some other changes inside as well. Tell me what I’ll see.

Collins: The first chapter—which is a chapter on international (global) assets and flows and funds, so we’ve expanded that a bit. But I think generally, the theme this year is that globalization is marching ahead. Even though we’ve seen a few bumps in the road in the past few years, globalization will march ahead.

And that’s the way the Fact Book is going. We are going global. So one thing that’s very interesting this year is that the Fact Book has now been published in Chinese, and we are hopeful that the Fact Book might also be translated into other languages in coming years as well.

Ortbals-Tibbs: And that’s because there’s—a lot of the data in here is from the US industry, because that’s where we’ve always been just a bedrock of information analysis. But it really carries over to other fund markets around the world.

Collins: Right. So there are a lot of issues that we face in the US with respect to retirement-related issues—say, individuals saving for retirement, investor education and literacy about financial issues. And those are sort of global issues. They’re not specific to the US. And so what we find is that although a lot of the data and the charts and tables in the Fact Book are US-related data—they’re about the US fund industry—there’s a very big demand across the world for the kinds of facts that we have in the Fact Book because there are other countries that are facing similar issues to what we face today.

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