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Equity funds top best-seller list for tenth consecutive month

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Equity funds topped the best-seller list for the tenth consecutive month in January, Investment Management Association (IMA) sales figures have revealed.

Investors poured £464m into equity products last month, with UK and European focused equity funds outselling all other regions.

Property was the second best-selling asset class with net sales of £232m, the highest since March 2010.

Fixed income funds, meanwhile, saw net outflows of £229m.

In total, private individuals invested £1.1bn in open-ended funds in January – twice the level of the same month last year – to take retail sales to over £1bn for the tenth consecutive month.

Despite the growing sign of confidence, the figures pre-date the current crisis in Ukraine which has understandably spooked markets.

Jason Hollands of adviser firm Bestinvest said the coming weeks will show whether this dampens enthusiasm in the key end of tax year period when many investors typically fund their ISAs and pensions.

“In the digital age when news flows around the global in nano-seconds, it is easy to see how private investors can get consumed by the white noise of current events. Should investors avoid the markets? Should they rush for ‘safe havens’ such as gold? Are “cheap” Russian equities now a buying opportunity? These are just some of the questions ‘expert commentators’ are engrossed with,” he said.

“However, unless you are running a short term trading account, in our view, reacting to the latest news flow rarely makes sense from a long-term perspective.”

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