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Net retail outflows reach £2.1 billion as global uncertainty cools investor appetite

Thursday 10 January 2019

The Investment Association’s monthly statistics of UK investor behaviour in November 2018 show:

  • Net retail sales were negative in November, with £2.1 billion of outflows from UK authorised and recognised funds, and funds under management totalling £1.2 trillion.
  • Fixed Income experienced further outflows, with net retail outflows of £1.2 billion.
  • Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares was the best-selling sector with net retail sales of £216 million.

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

“Global uncertainty has led to a doubling-down of investor caution in November. A combination of international trade tensions, ongoing Brexit uncertainty, and the market volatility seen from October onwards, have clearly dented confidence. Fixed Income funds experienced a second month of significant outflows, which, alongside the

sell-off of UK and European Equity funds, contributed to the largest net retail outflow since the EU referendum of £2.1 billion.”


Funds Under ManagementNet Retail SalesNet Institutional Sales
November 2018£1.2 trillion-£2.1 billion£526 million
November 2017£1.2 trillion£4.5 billion-£342 million


The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for November 2018 were:

  • Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares - the best-selling sector with net retail sales of £216 million.
  • North America with net retail sales of £105 million.
  • Volatility Managed with net retail sales of £104 million.
  • Global with net retail sales of £79 million.
  • Japan with net retail sales of £75 million.

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in November 2018 was Targeted Absolute Return with an outflow of £756 million.


Mixed Asset was the best-selling asset class with £350 million in net retail sales.

Property was the second best-selling asset class with net retail sales of £19 million.

The remaining asset classes experienced outflows.

Money Market experienced net retail outflows of £230 million.

Equity experienced net retail outflows of £467 million, followed by funds classified as Other (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return and Volatility Managed) which experienced outflows of £637 million.

Fixed Income experienced net retail outflows of £1.2 billion.


Global funds were the best-selling in November with net retail sales of £140 million.

North America funds were the next best-selling with net retail sales of £88 million.

Japan funds were the third best-selling with net retail sales of £80 million.

Asia funds experienced net retail inflows of £53 million, whilst UK and Europe funds experienced net retail outflows of £319 million and £426 million, respectively.


Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £777 million. Tracker funds under management stood at £188 billion as of the end of November 2018. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 15.7%.


Ethical funds experienced net retail inflows of £83 million in November 2018. Funds under management were £16 billion at the end of November, representing a 1.4% share of industry funds under management.


In November, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £8.9 billion, representing a market share of 46%.

Other UK Intermediaries including IFAs made gross retail sales of £4.1 billion, representing a market share of 21.4%.

Direct gross retail sales in November were £1.6 billion, representing a market share of 8.1%.


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 06

David Parton, Communications Executive: David.Parton@theia.org

T +44 (0)20 7831 0898

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 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:

AsiaEuropeGlobalJapanNorth AmericaUK
Asia Pacific excl. JapanEurope excl. UKGlobalJapanNorth AmericaUK All Companies
Asia Pacific incl. JapanEurope incl. UKGlobal Emerging MarketsJapanese Smaller CompaniesNorth America Smaller CompaniesUK Equity Income
China/Greater ChinaEurope Smaller CompaniesGlobal Equity IncomeUK Smaller Companies
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 (AEGON, 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 IA champions UK asset management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets and the asset management industry supports 100,000 jobs across the UK.

Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for
the economy, so everyone prospers.

  • 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 35% of all assets managed in Europe.