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Investment funds hit record high in 2015 despite choppy markets

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The amount of money in investment funds reached an all-time high in 2015, despite a tumultuous year for stock markets.

Data from the Investment Association, the trade body representing the UK’s investment managers, shows funds under management reached a record high of £871bn last year, up from £835bn in 2014.

Guy Sears, interim chief executive of the Investment Association, said: “Despite market uncertainty surrounding China, commodity prices and central bank interest rate policy throughout 2015, we saw funds under management of authorised investment funds hit an all time high.”

Best and worst sellers

Equities or shares remained the best-selling asset class for the second consecutive year, attracting £8.4bn of investor money, slightly down from the £8.7bn in 2014.

Property was the second best seller, with retail sales of £2.7bn, down from £3.8bn the year before.

Fixed income funds saw outflows of £519m compared to inflows of £1.5bn in 2014.

UK equity income funds pulled in the most money for the second year in a row, with investors ploughing £4.3bn into these products.

Asian equity funds were the worst-selling in 2015 with record outflows of £867m, compared to inflows of £53m the previous year.

Record for trackers

Sales of tracker funds also hit a record high in 2015, attracting £5.4bn and taking total funds under management an all-time high of £108bn.

This is a 16% increase from 2014.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Private investors have still been squirreling money away into their pensions and ISAs despite the choppiness in stock markets seen throughout the latter half of last year.

“The low interest rate environment has no doubt helped people to invest more by reducing their mortgage payments, as well as making cash savings look relatively unattractive. The pension freedoms introduced last April have also boosted fund sales by encouraging more people to invest some of their pension at retirement, rather than simply buying an annuity.”