Retail investors keep hi-tech bubble from bursting

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The Independent Online
SMALL INVESTORS believe the current craze for technology companies will be more than a short-term bubble and are prepared to invest in hi- tech stocks for several years, according to figures released yesterday.

Statistics from the Association of Unit Trusts and Investment Funds (Autif) suggest retail punters are rushing to put their savings in long-term funds which invest in go-go Internet and technology companies. In November, sales of technology funds soared 200 per cent over the previous month to pounds 222m.

Over the past few months, several computer, telecom and Net stocks have experienced extraordinary rises. Autif said retail investors accounted for more than 90 per cent of the "spectacular" success of technology stocks, while large City institutions invested less than 5 per cent. "[A technology fund] is a more sensible option for small punters," a leading broker said. "It is better to invest in a broad-based portfolio picked by professionals than risk losing your shirt on a couple of stocks."

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