Norwegian investors ‘surfing like Beach Boys’ says VFF MD Lasse Ruud

Norwegians who entered into regular savings agreements in recent years should congratulate themselves on their decision because of the performance of funds since the financial crisis, argues Lasse Ruud, managing director of the Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association.

Ruud, who sits on the board of EFAMA, made the comment in an article published by Norwegian news site E24.

The fact is, he wrote, that although net sales of funds did not reach spectacular heights through 2013, Norwegian fund investors on average saw the value of their savings hit a level some 50% higher than before the finanical crisis in 2008.

Last year’s returns from markets helped the value of assets in investment funds gain some NOK106bn, taking total assets to a record NOK663bn (€81.2bn). Ten years ago total assets in the industry were just NOK181bn.

“What is even more satisfactory is to note that Norwegian retail investors – that is you and I – have behaved sensibly in the funds market through some turbulent years,” Ruud said.

“We bought shares when everything looked dismal during the financial crisis, and we have to a large degree sat calmly with these shares while financial markets have strengthened.”

“Ola and Kari [the Norwegian Mr and Mrs Smith] have thereby been surfing a long rising wave, and just such a long surfing should be an ideal for most savers.”

Generally, retail investors in funds would do better to consider staying on the euphemistic surf board, Ruud added, especially if they take the approach of investing a fixed amount monthly into funds.

A Norwegian investor who put away NOK1,000 (€122) monthly since the summer of 2007 into funds exposed to the Oslo stock market would have seen an average annual return of 12%, turning savings of NOK83,000 into assets of NOK123,000 (€15,000) over the period, Ruud said.

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