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Net retail sales hit record high for second consecutive month

Friday 2 June 2017

The Investment Association’s monthly statistics of UK investor behaviour in April 2017 show:

  • Net retail sales reach a new monthly record of £4.9 billion.
  • Equity was the best-selling asset class for the second consecutive month with the second highest sales on record at £2 billion.
  • Net retail sales for ISAs reach £1.1 billion.

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“With the ISA allowance increasing to £20,000 a year, many investors decided to start the new tax year by investing their savings through authorised funds. This contributed to net retail sales reaching a record high for the second month in a row, with £4.9 billion of new retail money invested in April.”

Alastair Wainwright, Fund Market Specialist, said:

“Equity funds proved most popular with retail investors for the second month in a row, attracting over £2 billion in net retail sales. April’s figures were the second highest monthly inflow on record; with the highest being recorded in June 2013, when £2.5 billion poured into equity funds. Global equities drew the largest net monthly inflow with £1.2 billion and passive equity funds accounted for £493 million of net retail equity sales.

The Volatility Managed sector, which was launched in April with 87 funds, received £163 million in net retail sales, with funds under management reaching £20 billion.”

FUNDS UNDER MANAGEMENT AND NET SALES

Funds Under Management Net Retail Sales Net Institutional Sales
April 2017 £1,092 billion £4.9 billion £2.5 billion
April 2016 £930 billion £1.2 billion £73 million

ASSET CLASSES

Equity was the best-selling asset class in April 2017, with net retail sales of £2 billion. This is the second largest monthly inflow into the asset class on record and the highest net retail sales since June 2013.

Mixed asset was the second best-selling with net retail sales of £1 billion.

Fixed income was the third best-selling asset class with net retail sales of £225 million.

Money Market funds and Property funds saw inflows of £832 million and £69 million respectively.

NET RETAIL SALES OF EQUITY FUNDS BY REGION*

Global equity funds were the best-selling in April with net retail sales of £1.2 billion.

North American equity funds were the second best-selling with net retail sales of £299 million.

European equity funds were the third best-selling with net retail sales of £255 million.

Asian equity funds experienced net retail outflows of £47 million.


Region Net retail sales
in April 2017
Average net retail sales
for previous 12 months
Global £1.2 billion £314 million

North America

£299 million -£3 million
European £255 million -£317 million
Japanese £223 million -£72 million
UK
£104 million -£340 million
Asia
-£47 million -£81 million

THE INVESTMENT ASSOCIATION SECTOR RANKINGS

The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for April 2017 were:

  • 1. Specialist was the best-selling sector with net retail sales of £678 million.
  • 2. Targeted Absolute Return with net retail sales of £607 million.
  • 3. Global with net retail sales of £376 million.
  • 4. £ Strategic Bond with net retail sales of £335 million.
  • 5. Short term money market with net retail sales of £312 million.
The worst-selling Investment Association sector in April 2017 was the £ Corporate Bond sector with an outflow of £277 million.


Investment Association Sector Ranking in April
2017
Net Retail Sales
in Apr 2017
Ranking in
Mar 2017
Net Retail Sales
in Mar 2017
Asset Class
Specialist 1 £678 million 7 £204 million Other
Targeted Absolute Return 2 £607 million 2
£381 million Other
Global
3 £376 million 3
£332 million Equity
£ Strategic Bond
4 £335 million 4 £257 million Fixed Income
Short term money market 5 £312 million 17
£77 million Other

RETAIL DISTRIBUTION

In April, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £9.5 billion, representing a market share of 49.2% (51% in April 2016).

Other Intermediaries including UK IFAs and Wealth Managers attracted gross retail sales of £4.8 billion, representing a market share of 25% (23.4% in April 2016).

Direct gross retail sales in April were £1.5 billion, representing a market share of 7.8% (6.5% in April 2016).

FUND PLATFORM PRODUCT SALES

For the five fund platforms that provide data to The Investment Association (Cofunds, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual Wealth and Transact) we saw net retail sales of £1.9 billion in April.

Personal Pensions had net sales of £702 million, ISAs £1.2 billion, and Unwrapped £9 million, whilst Insurance Bonds saw net outflows of £12 million.

For the same five fund platforms, funds under management as at the end of April 2017 were £229 billion, compared with £201 billion a year earlier.

ISAs**

In April 2017, funds in ISAs provided by fund companies and the five fund platforms that feed data to The Investment Association (Cofunds, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual Wealth and Transact) saw net retail sales of £1.1 billion.

The three best-selling sectors for ISAs based on the five fund platforms were:
  • 1. Specialist (£321 million net sales)
  • 2. Global (£102 million net sales)
  • 3. UK Equity Income (£98 million net sales)

FUND OF FUNDS

Funds of funds had a net retail inflow of £963 million in April 2017.

Funds of funds that invested externally saw net retail sales of £447 million, while funds that invested internally saw net retail sales of £516 million.

Funds under management for funds of funds were £136 billion at the end of April 2017, accounting for 12.4% of industry funds under management, compared with 11.8% in April 2016.

TRACKER FUNDS

Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £933 million. Tracker funds under management stood at £150 billion as at the end of April 2017. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 13.8%, compared with 11.3% in April 2016.

ETHICAL FUNDS

Net retail sales of ethical funds were £84 million in April 2017. Funds under management were £13.4 billion at the end of March, representing a 1.2% share of industry funds under management.

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:


Helen Ayres
Media Relations Manager
Helen.Ayres@theia.org
T +44 (0)20 7269 4620
M +44 (0)7508 724 066

Notes for Editors

To see a breakdown of the data referenced in this press release, please see all of the tables here.

The Investment Association's figures for fund sales cover retail and institutional sales in authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies (OEICs) provided by our membership to UK investors. The figures do not include investment trusts and ETFs.

Each month small revisions to figures may have been made since the previous press release. This reflects additional information received by The Investment Association.

Net retail sales comprise total retail sales minus repurchases (including switches between funds), thus the figures can result in a negative figure or outflow.

* Regional breakdown for equity funds

The following Investment Association sectors have been grouped together to compile the figures for regional equity sales:

Asia Europe Global Japan North America UK
Asia Pacific excl. Japan Europe Excl. UK Global Japan North America UK All Companies
Asia Pacific incl. Japan Europe Incl. UK Global Emerging Markets Japanese Smaller Companies North America Smaller Companies UK Equity Income
China/Greater China Europe Smaller Companies Global Equity Income UK Smaller Companies
Specialist
Technology and Telecommunications

Direct Channels

Direct includes sales forces and tied agents, private clients and other direct to investor sales without intermediation.

** The Investment Association’s ISA figures are based on information collected from fund companies and five fund platforms (Cofunds, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual Wealth and Transact) where they are the ISA provider. Fund business through other ISA providers such as wealth managers is not included. The Investment Association’s figures cover about three-quarters of the whole of the market for funds held in ISAs.

About the Investment Association:

  • The Investment Association is the trade body that represents UK investment managers who manage over £5.7 trillion on behalf of clients
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 37% of all assets managed in Europe.