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Investment trust and Isa sales down by 25% in Q4

Sales of investment trust savings schemes and Isas plunged by 25 per cent in the last quarter of 2002 compared with the same period in 2001, according to the AITC.

Quarterly figures show that total sales of IT saving schemes in the fourth quarter of last year fell by 28 per cent to £42.64m from £58.91m in the fourth quarter of 2001. In the third quarter of last year, sales fell by 16 per cent.

Sales of Isas through ITs and their managers fell by 26 per cent to £10.97m Q4 2002 from £14.92m in Q4 2001 and by 19 per cent from Q3 2002 when they stood at £13.54m.

Over the whole of last year, Isa sales fell by 40 per cent to £93.2m from £155.8m in 2001 while savings scheme purchases fell by 25 per cent to £206m from £275m.

The AITC blames the falls on the effect on investor sentiment caused by the potential war in Iraq and three years of plunging equity markets.

Director general Daniel Godfrey says: “It is unfortunate that many investors tend to invest when markets are high and retreat when markets are low. While caution in understandable in these uncertain times, the sensible approach to volatile markets is to have a balanced portfolio and dripfeed money into them by regular saving.”

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