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Sales of investment funds slump by 97%

Net sales of investment funds plummeted by almost 97 per cent in September compared with the same month last year as the impact of terrorist att-acks in the US radiated across the retail investment industry.

The figures, published by Autif, reveal that September&#39s net retail sales fell by £1,329m to £47m from last September&#39s total of £1,376m. Gross retail sales fell by 46 per cent to £1,585m from £2,931m last year.

Month on month, the figures were as dramatic, with net retail sales down by 89 per cent from August&#39s total of £441m, which was in turn already down by 14 per cent on July&#39s total.

Some solace was to be found in repurchase figures for September, which were slightly down on both this August and September 2000. September retail repurchases were £1,538m compared with £1,555m during the same month last year and £1,582m in August.

IFAs remained the dominant distribution channel in September, accounting for 57 per cent of all retail sales. However, this was down on Aug-ust&#39s figure of 64 per cent, with tied agents increasing their share to 21 per cent from 15 per cent in August.

Autif head of communications Clare Arber says: “It is reassuring to see that investors have stayed calm and not rushed to cash in their holdings. However, they remain reluctant to entrust their savings to the stockmarket. The volatility and uncertainty caused by the attacks on the US and subsequent events continue to defer further investment. How long it will take for consumers to start investing again we just do not know.”

Hargreaves Lansdown inv-estment manager Ben Yearsley says: “People did not go in but people did not sell out, so these figures are not that bad. People were too shocked to bail out and did not know what to go into anyway.”

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