Advisors gave a boost to active mutual funds in the first half of 2017—as long as the management came at a reasonable price.

According to the most recent Fund Distribution Intelligence report from Broadridge, the U.S. fund universe enjoyed $566 billion of net asset growth, a 5.5 percent increase. More than three-fourths of this total, $433 billion, went into lower-fee passive products. Most of the remaining $133 million flowed into low-cost active ETFs and mutual funds.

"Net new asset flows into institutional shares of actively managed funds in the first half of 2017 is further proof that price and performance are the driving factors in advisor fund selection,” said Frank Polefrone, senior vice president of Broadridge's data and analytics business, in a statement.  “We expect to see the move to lower fee share classes continue throughout 2017 as the majority of advisors move to a fee based practice, and the broker dealer home office realigns the mix of share classes offered to meet both client demand and regulatory requirements related to the DOL fiduciary rule."

Retail channels—including RIAs, broker-dealers, wirehouses and online retail—poured $87 billion into actively managed products through June 30 compared to $48 billion in passive products.

Wirehouses and independent broker-dealers added $190 billion into institutionally priced actively managed funds, $159 billion of which came from conversions out of load funds.

Equity mutual funds had total outflows of $69 billion in the first half of 2017, but those with an expense ratio of 20 basis points or less had inflows of $93 billion, according to Broadridge.

ETF net new assets increased by 11.6 percent to $78 billion. All told, there are now $3.1 trillion invested in ETFs. With more than $800 billion invested in ETFs, RIAs remain the largest users of exchange-traded products.

Broadridge says that online retail, which posted 20 percent growth in the first half of 2017, is the fastest growing channel. Net new flows of mutual funds increased by $67 billion for the online channel, more than half of which, $36 billion, flowed into actively managed funds.

According to the report, Vanguard and Charles Schwab are leading the growth of the online channel.