Bill Gross may have lost his claim to the bond king crown when he stumbled in 2011, but this year, he's gone a long way toward reclaiming that mantle.
His flagship Pimco Total Return Fund led all funds, with $2.4 billion of inflows in October, and helped propel Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, which he co-founded, to more than $8 billion in inflows, edging out The Vanguard Group Inc. as the top-selling mutual fund firm for the month, according to Morningstar Inc.
Performance of the Total Return Fund ticker:(PTTAX) has been the biggest driver of its growth. The fund's 9.49% year-to-date return through Oct. 31 put it back in the top 15% of all taxable-bond funds this year, after falling to the bottom 10% last year.
The exchange-traded-fund version ticker:(BOND) has performed even better. Since its inception March 1, it's outperformed the mutual fund by about 600 basis points.
The performance difference has narrowed to just over 100 basis points over the past three months, but 100 basis points of outperformance in a bond fund is nothing to sneeze at.
Jeffrey Gundlach, the other claimant to the title of bond king, had an excellent month, as well. His DoubleLine Total Return Fund ticker:(DBLTX) took in $1.9 billion in inflows and still is the best-selling fund of the year, with almost $18 billion of inflows through the end of October, according to Morningstar.
Though it's winning the sales battle with the Pimco fund, DoubleLine's offering has trailed in the performance category, with an 8.52% return year-to-date through Oct. 31. That puts it squarely in the top quartile of taxable-bond funds.