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It is an adage that quite often speaks some truth; in the good times sales volumes often take a dive in May and when investors are nervous this is the point at which they start to take profits as wealth managers begin to position their portfolios for their half-year client reports. A weak sales month in May generally prefaces a deterioration in volumes as the summer progresses. After an ugly start to 2016, long-term funds enjoyed a brief period of respite in March and April bringing the cumulative sales total for the year back to par. But this respite came to an abrupt end in May with net inflows falling from €17bn (including ETFs) to just €6.5bn. In fact this was the third consecutive month of decline and anticipates a phase of outflows that will inevitably follow June’s Brexit turmoil.
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