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Seven up for fixed-income fund business

Fixed income was the leading asset class for the seventh consecutive month with net retail sales of £660m, according to figures from the Investment Management Association for March.

The IMA £ strategic bond sector was the best seller in March, with £366m of net retail sales. The figure is up on the £148m level in February and well above the monthly average of £211m in the past 12 months.

The mixed investment 20-60 per cent shares sector came second with £232m of sales while the corporate bond sector, which had been the best seller for the past two months, was third with sales of £219m in March.

The absolute return sector was the fourth best seller, with £180m of sales. The global emerging markets sector was fifth with £156m.

UK all companies was the worst-selling sector, with outflows of £250m. Europe excluding UK and the specialist sector recording outflows of £125m and £110m respectively.

Following fixed income, mixed investments was the second highest selling asset class in March 2012, with £348m of net retail sales.
Net sales of equities fell to £17m, a marked fall on the £249m recorded in February 2012.

There was a total of £1.4bn of net retail sales in March, down on the £2.7bn recorded in March 2011. Total funds under management stood at £613.2bn, down slightly on the £615.4bn in February 2012.

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “Fixed income does play a part in an investors’ portfolios but I would be very careful in choosing funds in this area now given the performance they have had and the yields they now offer.

“A sign that the best opportunities may have gone can be seen by the fact investors are moving from corporate bonds to strategic bonds, which are slightly higher up the risk scale, to get the returns they want.”

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