Retail sales for investment funds this year have set a new record, according to latest Investment Management Association figures.
Net retail sales of £2.7bn in September pushed the total for the year to date to £18.7bn, beating the previous record for the whole of 2000 of £17.7bn. Equities have overtaken bonds as the most popular asset class as net retail sales of £995m for equities were well ahead of the £566m for bonds in September.
September’s strong returns also saw retail sales of equities outstrip bonds over a quarterly period. Equities took £2.4bn compared with £2.1bn in bonds in the third quarter, the first time that equities have outsold bonds over a quarter since 2007.
Total UK-domiciled funds under management now stand at £463.4bn, the highest they have been since December 2007 when funds stood at the £467.8bn mark.
The latest figures also mark an end to the IMA corporate bond sectors’ 10-month reign as the highest selling sector. Absolute return funds are the biggest-selling sector with £442.4m of net retail sales. Corporate bonds are second with £323.5m.
Property funds come in third, continuing their renaissance with £261m of net retail sales in September 2009, more than double the £129m taken in August and the highest since the £307m in sales June 2007.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: “Investors are showing an increasing interest in equity funds after a period in which bonds have dominated. The geographic spread is wide, with significant flows into funds investing other than in the UK.”