Aggressive investors using Hargreaves Lansdown's Vantage supermarket in 2008 allocated a significant amount into equity funds which ultimately lost half their value.
The figures support the case for investors gaining financial advice in volatile markets as the majority of Vantage's clients are direct.
Out of the ten top selling vehicles on the platform last year, three suffered falls between 50% and 60% - Allianz BRIC Stars, JPM Natural Resources and Neptune Russia.
BRIC Stars and Neptune Russia plunged significantly from June as Russian equities nearly doubled the losses seen in established markets, while JPMorgan's Natural Resources declined on a disastrous year for many commodity-based offerings.
Only the JPM Natural Resources fund made it onto Fidelity FundsNetwork's 2008 top 10 sales list, which included more cautious vehicles.
Vantage development head Ben Lundie says as many investors buy directly off the Hargreaves platform, compared to FundsNetwork or Cofunds, they tend to be active than advisers' clients.
"What we have found is clients tend to make their own investment choices on Vantage and they maybe are more aggressive," he says. "As a result, we probably see more equities-based purchases."
While investors favoured equities in the early part of 2008, bond funds monopolised sales on Vantage in December, with six of the top 10 selling vehicles coming from the sector.
The Global Bond sector proved to be popular with investors as it was one of only a few categories to deliver positive returns over the past quarter.
Invesco Perpetual's Corporate Bond and Monthly Income Plus funds were among the top sellers, along with Investec Sterling Bond, Franklin Templeton Global Bond, M&G International Sovereign Bond and Royal London Sterling Extra Yield Bond.
Vantage best sellers 2008 - alphabetical order
- Allianz RCM BRIC Stars
- Blackrock Gold & General
- Blackrock UK Absolute Alpha
- Invesco Perpetual Corporate Bond
- Invesco Perpetual High Income
- Invesco Perpetual Income
- Invesco Perpetual Monthly Income Plus
- JPMorgan Natural Resources
- Jupiter India
- Neptune Russia & Greater Russia
Putting the tech into protection
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