ISA season boosts fund sales in April

Laura Suter
6 June 2019

The Investment Association has released fund sales data for April today showing:

•        April saw the first month of overall inflows in 2019
•        UK equity outflows slow to just £3m 
•        Global funds see highest inflows on record
•        Absolute Return funds clock 10th month of outflows – totalling £4.7bn

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell, comments:

“Investors returned to markets in April, with the last-minute ISA season flurry helping to boost flows, as investors put £2.2bn into funds overall. This compares to £2.8bn of money invested in funds last April, although total assets in funds remained flat compared to year ago, at £1.2 trillion. 

“While the flows mark a stark contrast to investors continually pulling money out in recent months, savers are still cautious. Until we reach a resolution on Brexit, talk of trade wars dies down and the political situation in the UK is more stable, this is unlikely to dramatically change. 

“Investors have sold £4bn of UK equity funds over the past year, although April offered some reprieve with outflows slowing to £3m, compared to last month’s £445m of outflows. A large chunk of this will be down to investors pulling their money out of Neil Woodford’s Equity Income fund in their droves in April, with £126 coming out of the fund that month, before the fund fell by another £560m in May.

“There were rosier signs elsewhere, with Global funds seeing £934m of inflows – its largest inflows on record. It has been the favoured sector for more than three years and global funds have hoovered up £4.3bn of assets over the past year. However, Europe ex-UK funds still clocked up £359m of outflows, while investors pulled £120m from American funds and £171m out of Japan. Despite the ongoing talks of trade wars, Asia Pacific and China funds clocked up of inflows of £92m. 

“Continuing its trend of being one of the most unloved sectors, the Targeted Absolute Return sector notched up its 10th consecutive month of outflows, as investors withdrew another £501m from the funds. It means that over the past 10 months investors have pulled more than £4.7bn from the funds during that time.” 

Laura Suter
Personal Finance Analyst
Laura Suter is personal finance analyst at AJ Bell. She is a multi-award winning former financial journalist, having specialised in investments. Laura joined AJ Bell from the Daily Telegraph, where she was investment editor. She has previously worked for adviser publications Money Marketing and Money Management, and has worked for an investment publication in New York. She has a degree in Journalism Studies from University of Sheffield.
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