More fund accounts were opened in China last month compared with A-share accounts, a first for the mainland.

Newly opened fund accounts in China totaled 5.12 million, while newly opened A-share accounts reached 3.78 million, according to data from Lipper.

ôMore investors selected funds as an investment channel. More investors depend on asset management companies now,ö says Zhou Liang, Lipper's head of research in China.

Zhou says there were 19.95 million fund accounts in China as of early-September, and ôgiven the number of potential investors, the number of fund accounts could increase five times in the next 10 years.ö

There are at least US$1 trillion in domestic savings tucked away in bank accounts in China, making it one of the most lucrative markets in Asia for fund managers.

August was also a strong month for funds in China in terms of performance, according to Lipper.

All China open-end fund categories posted gains on-average last month. The Equity, Mixed-Asset Aggressive, Mixed-Asset Flexible, and Mixed-Asset Balanced fund categories posted on-average gains of 16.97%, 14.98%, 13.99%, and 12.90%, respectively. The accumulated return of Equity China funds in the last 12 months reached 253.17%.

Zhou says it would be prudent for investors to take some profits at this time, given that valuations of shares in the mainland have risen sharply over the past few years.

ôThe suggestion most often heard now for fund investors is to buy and hold. This was demonstrated as correct by the recent two-year bull market,ö Zhou says.

However, if investors keep their buy and hold strategy, they may neglect to take advantage of the current high share prices, he says.

Average August performance of fund groups registered for sale in China, by asset types:

Equity China +16.97%
Mixed Asset CNY Aggressive +14.98%
Mixed Asset CNY Flexible +13.99%
Target Maturity +13.73%
Mixed Asset CNY Balanced +12.90%
Mixed Asset Other Conservative +7.24%
Guaranteed +5.39%
Bond CNY +1.33%