Cautious investors pull £1.2bn from UK equities as political uncertainty ratchets up

The Investment Association (IA), the trade body that represents UK investment managers, has today published figures on how savers invested in July.   

  • Net retail sales experienced a fourth consecutive month of inflows, with savers placing £924 million into funds. 
  • Fixed income was the highest selling asset class for the fifth month in a row; net retail sales reached £2.2 billion.
  • £ Strategic Bond was the best selling IA Sector in July, with net retail sales of £1.2 billion. 

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:

“Appetite for stocks and bonds was poles apart in July 2019, as savers looked to weather the ongoing political and economic uncertainty by diversifying their investments and seeking out safe haven assets. 

“Investors reacted to the ratcheting up of uncertainty in the UK, triggered by the change in political leadership, by taking £1.2 billion from UK equity funds. The bond market, however, continued its return to favour with £2.2 billion in net retail sales in July in the fifth month of positive flows, helping lift the fund market to total net retail sales of £924 million.” 



The five best-selling Investment Association sectors for July 2019 were:

  1. £ Strategic Bond was the best-selling sector with net retail sales of £1.2 billion.
  2. Global was second with net retail sales of £424 million.
  3. Global Bonds was next with net retail sales of £406 million. 
  4. Mixed Investments 40-85% Shares followed with net retail sales of £399 million. 
  5. Volatility Managed was fifth with net retail sales of £259 million. 

The worst-selling Investment Association sector in July 2019 was UK All Companies with an outflow of £734 million.


Fixed Income was the best-selling asset class with £2.2 billion in net retail sales.

Mixed Asset was the second best-selling asset class with net retail sales of £611 million.

Other (which includes the Targeted Absolute Return, Volatility Managed, Protected and Unclassified sectors) was the third best-selling asset class with £19 million in net retail sales.

Money Market and Property saw net retail outflows of £87 million and £158 million, respectively.  

Equity saw net retail outflows of £1.7 billion in July. 


Asia funds were the best-selling in July with net retail sales of £154 million.

Global funds were the next best-selling with net retail sales of £146 million.

All the remaining regions experienced outflows.

North America funds experienced net retail outflows of £90 million.

Japan funds saw net retail outflows of £205 million, followed by Europe funds which experienced net retail outflows of £430 million. 

UK funds experienced net retail outflows of £1.2 billion. 


Tracker funds saw a net retail inflow of £1.7 billion. Tracker funds under management stood at £217 billion as of the end of July 2019. Their overall share of industry funds under management was 16.9%.


Ethical funds experienced net retail inflows of £248 million in July 2019. Funds under management were £20 billion at the end of July, representing a 1.6% share of industry funds under management.


In July, gross retail sales for UK fund platforms totalled £11 billion, representing a market share of 44%.

Gross retail sales through Other Intermediaries including UK IFAs were £6.6 billion, representing a market share of 26.8%.

Direct gross retail sales in July were £1.5 billion, representing a market share of 5.9%.



Notes for Editors 

To see a breakdown of the data referenced in this press release, please see all of the tables here.

The Investment Association's figures for fund sales cover retail and institutional sales in authorised unit trusts and open ended investment companies (OEICs) provided by our membership to UK investors. The figures do not include investment trusts and ETFs.

Each month small revisions to figures have been made since the previous press release. This reflects additional information received by The Investment Association.

Net retail sales comprise total retail sales minus repurchases (including switches between funds), thus the figures can result in a negative figure or outflow.

* Regional breakdown for equity funds

The following Investment Association sectors have been grouped together to compile the figures for regional equity sales:

Regional breakdown for equity funds

Direct Channels

Direct includes sales forces and tied agents, private clients and other direct to investor sales without intermediation.

** The Investment Association’s ISA figures are based on information collected from fund companies and five fund platforms (AEGON, Fidelity, Hargreaves Lansdown, Old Mutual Wealth and Transact) where they are the ISA provider. Fund business through other ISA providers such as wealth managers is not included. The Investment Association’s figures cover about three-quarters of the whole of the market for funds held in ISAs.

For further information, please contact:

Helen Ayres, Communications Manager: [email protected] 

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

David Parton, Communications Executive: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625

IA press office: [email protected]

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £7.7 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 100,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages 35% of all assets managed in Europe.