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Sales still poor

Net sales of unit trusts and Isas remained in the doldrums last month, falling 82 per cent on the same period last year according to figures from Autif.

Despite net retail sales increasing fivefold to £247m in October from £47m in September – the lowest on record, in the wake of the US terror attacks – sales were still down by 82 per cent from £1.5bn in October 2000.

Gross retail sales fell less sharply, down by 34 per cent to £1.9bn in October 2001 from £2.9bn last year, and the fall was closer to the August year-on-year decline of 29 per cent than September&#39s 46 per cent.

Retail investors who did buy turned to more stable products, favouring UK corporate bond funds and UK other bonds, with Japan and UK equity income funds least popular.

Autif head of communications Clare Arber says: “Private investors made a slow but positive return to investment funds in October. Bond fund sectors remain the most popular for new fund investment – on a net basis, only two of the top six sectors are equity-based.”

Bates Investment Services senior investment adviser Paul Ilott says: “I am surprised that UK equity income funds have not been more popular. With net yields around 4 per cent, this is one area that investors should consider, particularly with potential capital growth.”

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