Thursday 6 June 2019 12:52 pm

Retail fund sales bounce back after six months of outflows

The fund market returned to positive net retail sales for the first time in six months in April as investor confidence bounced back.

Sales reached £2.2bn as savers embraced ISA season, with sales that can be directly traced back to an ISA wrapper hitting £826m.

Read more: Brexit chaos sparks fifth consecutive month of fund outflows

However, sales were down year-on-year from the £2.8bn invested last April.

“While the flows mark a stark contrast to investors continually pulling money out in recent months, savers are still cautious,” said AJ Bell personal finance analyst Laura Suter.

“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.”

Net retail outflows from UK equity funds dropped to £3m, the lowest in more than two years, compared to £445m in March, according to Investment Association figures.

“Investors have sold £4bn of UK equity funds over the past year, although April offered some reprieve with outflows slowing to £3m, compared to £445m of outflows,” Suter added.

“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 £126m coming out of the fund that month, before the fund fell by another £560m in May.”

Global was the best-selling investment association sector with £934m of net retail sales. The worst performing sector was targeted absolute return, which saw outflows of £501m.

Read more: Fund outflows continue for fourth month as investors remain cautious

Fixed income was the most popular asset class, with £1.6bn in net retail sales.

Chris Cummings, Investment Association chief executive, said: “ISA season has seen savers return to the fund market and set aside their Brexit concerns for now.

“Confidence bounced back in April, with net retail sales turning positive for the first time in six months and £2.2bn placed into funds.”