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Making a splash in the Isa arena

Can you hear the gentle splashing sound that money makes when it is being moved around sideways?

The Isa season does not create quite the same roar as that made by the torrent of money that used to nearly knock the fund management industry over a few years ago but at least it still shows that advisers have a role in recommending investments and investment strategies to their clients.

There may never be a return to the good old bad old days but, anecdotally, the Isa season has produced a few winners in fund management terms while some IFAs have done well.

The types of fund being sold include familiar favourites such as UK income funds but also property and corporate bond funds.

Multi-manager funds continue to make an impact. Some growth managers may warn that investors will not make quite as much as they hope from income funds but the chances of investors being badly burned are arguably much lower than, say, at the height of the TMT boom.

Investors will inevitably still be chasing performance at the wrong time in the cycle but hopefully to a lesser extent than before.

What does this mean to how funds are bought and sold? Well, first, more funds are being sold with advice, which must be a good thing while hopefully the concept of asset allocation is better appreciated. With less of a rush to meet the deadline and, of course, a less compelling taxation case, perhaps more consideration is being given to the Isa decision.

But two of the biggest factors have not yet made themselves felt – the creation of multi-ties and the simplification of pensions. The pattern for how funds are sold in the UK will probably not make itself felt for some years to come.

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