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Investors pulled nearly £1bn out of equity funds before Trump win

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Private investors remained in cautious mode in the run up to the US election, pulling nearly £1bn out of ‘higher risk’ equity funds in October.

Figures from the Investment Association – the trade body for the fund industry – show investors withdrew £960m from equity funds last month, up from the £333m of outflows recorded in September.

Overall, retail fund sales were weak, with net sales of £595m versus £1.7bn in the same month last year.

Sales of fixed income funds, which are perceived to be at the lower end of the risk spectrum, bounced back in October, attracting £359m of investor money, up by £274m from the previous month.

However, as Jason Hollands of wealth manager Tilney Bestinvest points out, fixed income has proved to be a major casualty of the Trump win so far, with bond markets hurt by rising inflation expectations.

“Developed market equities have held up since the result, with sectors such as financials and healthcare responding well to the result,” he said.

While investors ditched UK equities, global equity funds remained popular, pulling in £582m.

There was also a surge in the relative popularity of global emerging market funds in October.

But Hollands said this could prove “ill-timed” given Donald Trump’s “advocacy of high tariffs on imports from China and other emerging markets”.

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