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October fund sales up but performance sags

Investment fund sales continued to climb in October despite one of the poorest periods of performance for unit trusts for over a year.

Net Isa sales rose by 2.7 per cent to £633.1m from £616.6m in September, acc ording to the latest figures from Autif.

However, the average ret urn on unit trusts for the year to October 30 fell to 9.58 per cent, according to Standard & Poor&#39s Micropal. This is the first time the annual return has dipped below 10 per cent since July last year.

The Autif figures show that the UK all companies sector has taken the biggest proportion of sales over the last six months. Forty-six per cent of all direct Isa sales and 48 per cent of all salesforce and tied agent Isa sales were acc ounted for by the UK all companies sector between May and October.

IFA sales proved to be the most diverse, with only 19 per cent in the UK all companies sector and 17 per cent in Europe.

IFAs continued to account for the biggest proportion of Isa sales, with 40 per cent of all Isa business. Tied agents and salesforces accounted for 35 per cent of Isa sales while direct channels accounted for 25 per cent.

Plan Invest director Mich ael Owen says: “It sounds as though the Isa season is kicking in early. There has been a lot of comment recently about not leaving your Isas until the last minute.

“There has been quite a feeling among IFAs that if you have got the market down at this part of the year, why wait until March?”

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