The growth in multimanager and multi-asset funds is seen in some quarters as a natural response to investors’ preference for less risky assets. This preference seems an obvious choice in these times of extreme volatility, though investors would have sacrificed significant growth had they not made the right JSE bets. "One of the things I’ve been scratching my head about for the past two years is the shift to risk-off assets, specifically cash," says Leigh Köhler, head of research at Glacier by Sanlam. "The balanced funds, namely the multi-asset, high-equity ones, are still the biggest category of funds in SA at almost R500bn, and money markets are now sitting at more than R300bn. "I do think there’s been a bit of a shift and if you look at something like the Absa Money Market Fund that’s been taking in a lot of flows, I think it’s because people are scared about the volatility and generally flat markets over the past three years. "One must consider whether that’s the right behaviour....

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