Net retail fund of funds sales totaled £3.9bn last year, almost four times the 2008 figure and the highest ever recorded.
IMA figures show sales hit £3.89bn in 2009, up from £998m the previous year. Q4 sales were £1.39bn.
Fof gross sales accounted for £1 in every £10 invested in all funds last year, while assets under management hit £42.7bn, up from £30bn in 2008 and the highest year-end on record.
Chief executive Richard Saunders says the IMA is seeing an increasing proportion of sales going to funds invested with external managers, saying these now constitute the majority.
The total invested in external funds at the end of 2009 was £23.8bn, more than 10 times the level recorded in 1999.
Elsewhere, net retail sales of tracker funds totaled £313m in 2009, the highest since 2003, although it suffered a £14.4m net outflow in Q4. Tracker funds under management hit £27.7bn at the end of 2009, 38% up on 2008.
Sales of ethical funds stagnated over the whole of 2009 - advancing just 1% to £155m - although Q4 figures were the highest since the same period in 2007. Funds under management increased from £4.5bn in 2008 to £5.6bn last year.
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