Investors going it alone - self-select ISA sales rise by 79%

30 Apr 2007 16:00 GMT

 March fund sales reveal investors still favour cautious sectors  29% increase in assets invested in funds within ISAs in March 2007
ISA sales figures from Barclays Stockbrokers reveal that sales of new self select ISA accounts have increased by 79 per cent1 compared to a year ago. Clients have also invested 31 per cent1 more than in the same period last year. Research by Barclays Stockbrokers also shows that a further one in ten2 ISA investors would definitely consider a Self Select ISA investment for the 2007/8 tax year, while 17% had one in the last tax year. Self-Select ISAs provide access to structured products, unit trusts, investment trusts, open ended investment companies (OEICs), gilts, stocks and shares, and cash*. The Self-Select ISA also gives investors more control over how they invest their £7,000 stocks and shares ISA allowance per tax year. Amy Nauiokas, MD and Head of Barclays Stockbrokers, commented: “The popularity of the Self Select ISA reflects the growing trend for people to take as much control over their investments as possible and this is clearly evident from our sales this ISA season. Investors are really becoming more confident and sophisticated as not only do they seek to diversify their portfolios, but they also want the flexibility of selecting their own holdings and making their own investment decisions. Our research has shown that four in ten2 people choose Self Select to make their own investment decisions, and this trend is likely to continue with investors actively considering self-select ISA products. We encourage people to invest their ISA allowance as soon as possible at the turn of the new tax year as this ensures that they benefit from an entire year of tax-free investment rather then investing at the last minute.” Barclays Stockbrokers analysis of the top selling funds for March 2007 found that investors remain cautious, with Money Market and Income funds the most popular following recent market volatility. In addition, in March 2007, there was a 29 per cent increase in the assets invested in funds within ISAs compared to March 2006. The UK Equity Income sector remains popular with retail investors, and is closely followed by the Asia Pacific and UK All Companies sectors. Despite recent investor caution property funds in the specialist sector also remain popular, notably with Aberdeen Property Share and New Star Property. Amy Nauiokas continued: “Investors are clearly still seeking security in cautious investments as has been apparent since the volatile conditions the markets experienced throughout February and March. However, recent signs of greater stability have seen investors focusing on alternative funds such as China funds in the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) sector.”

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