Investors remained bearish on gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as they pulled out Rs 45 crore from the instrument in August, taking the total outflow in the first five month of 2018-19 financial year to Rs 241 crore. The net outflow meant assets under management of gold funds fell 7.5 per cent in the first five months of 2018-19 to Rs 4,445 crore in August-end, according to latest data available with Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi). Trading in gold ETF segment has been lukewarm during the last five years. It witnessed an outflow of Rs 835 crore, Rs 775 crore, Rs 903 crore, Rs 1,475 crore and Rs 2,293 crore in 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15 and 2013-14, respectively. However, the segment had witnessed an infusion of Rs 1,414 crore in 2012-13. Industry experts said smart return given by equity market has resulted in Indian investors largely staying away from investing in gold ETFs. In fact, redemptions have been seen in the last 5 years. "In any case, Indian investors have traditionally preferred to hold gold in physical form, rather than ETFs which are actually a better form of holding from an investor's perspective. Ideally, investors should look to allocate 5-10 per cent of the portfolio towards gold, which works as a portfolio hedge and helps reduce overall portfolio volatility," Morningstar Manager Research Director Kaustubh Belapurkar said. Gold ETFs are passive investment instruments that are based on price movements and investments in the metal. According to the data, a net sum of Rs 45 crore was pulled out in 14 gold-linked ETFs last month as compared to Rs 50 crore in July. In comparison, the investment instrument had witnessed a net outflow of Rs 58 crore in August last year. On the other hand, equity and equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS) saw an infusion of over Rs 7,700 crore last month. Besides, liquid funds or money market category - with investments in cash assets such as treasury bills, certificates of deposit and commercial paper for shorter horizon - witnessed an infusion of over Rs 1.7 lakh crore. Overall, mutual fund schemes witnessed an inflow of Rs 1.75 lakh crore last month as compared to redemptions of Rs over Rs 32,600 crore in July. The inflow has pushed assets base of the MF industry, comprising 42 players, to a record Rs 25.2 lakh crore in August-end from Rs 23.05 lakh crore at the end of July.