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IFAs waiting for the war to end

Axa says nearly half of IFAs are advising investors to steer clear of the stockmarket until after the end of the war with Iraq.

It found that 46 per cent of IFAs are telling clients to avoid investing until after the war. The research estimates that there are 15.5 million people are looking to save an average of £6,183 each this year, with another 9.6 million with tentative plans to save but put off by the volatile stockmarkets and the Iraq war.

The survey says only 18 per cent of people want to invest in equities. Of the 2,007 adults questioned in the consumer research, 41 per cent said low interest rates were putting them off saving, 16 per cent cited the outlook for house prices, 7 per cent the war and 5 per cent the level of the FTSE index.

Axa investment marketing manager Mike Mumford says: “The recent stockmarket volatility has affected the confidence of many people. However, people should not be too hasty because over the long term stockmarkets are expected to beat deposit accounts and, more important, inflation.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “Waiting until after the war is too inflexible. By and large, we are saying put money in cash and then dripfeed your money in to the stockmarket. We have already seen the relief rally.”

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