Low interest rates in the developed world helped drive retail investors to pour £228m into the global emerging market sector in the hunt for better yield, data from the trade association the Investment Management Association showed.
Typically the sector only attracts around £86m a month.
It is the first time emerging market equities have topped the monthly list of net retail sales. They were the third most popular asset class the last time the IMA took the temperature of the industry in September.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders, set to stand down next month, said the rise was a sign investors were continuing to diversify their investments.
The swing back towards equity investment as the favoured asset class of retail investors continued into October with net retail sales of £550m, boosted by the popularity of UK equity income funds.
These funds, which invest in companies with strong dividend policies, rose from the fifth most popular asset class last month up to second place with sales of £172m
“When lower risk assets are giving sub inflation returns, it is not surprising that investors are seeking asset classes with the potential to provide a higher yield than either cash in the bank or bonds and with the prospect of capital growth over the medium term,” Brewin Dolphin divisional director Rob Burgeman said in a statement.