Net retail sales reached their highest level on record in 2009, up 45% on their previous best performance, according to the IMA.
Last year, sales grew to £25.8bn, beating the previous best year's performance of £17.7bn in 2000. It was also more than six times the £3.8bn achieved in 2008.
Funds under management also reached their highest volume in 2009, up to £480.8bn from 2008's £361.7bn.
ISA sales too recorded their best year since 2001, reaching £2.8bn in 2009. This is in stark contrast to the previous five years which all saw net outflows.
Bonds were the biggest selling asset class, with net retail sales of £9.9bn, followed by equities on £7.3bn. The top selling sector amongst retail investors was £ Corporate Bond on £6bn, while Absolute Return was second with £2.55bn.
This contrasts with institutional sales, where equities were the biggest selling asset class at £1.6bn, followed by Other at £1.3bn and bonds with £0.9bn.
Meanwhile, Absolute Return was the top selling IMA sector in December 2009, with net retail sales of £511m. It was just ahead of property with £510.9m, which was the top sector for the previous two months.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders says: "2009 has seen investors adding to their savings at record rates. This trend can be traced back to the autumn of 2008 in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman crash and the ensuing market falls.
"Investors have prudently chosen wide diversification both across asset classes and geographically - in marked contrast to the previous record year of 2000. And it is good to see people once more investing via ISAs, after five years in which ISAs saw higher levels of withdrawals than investments."
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