In the year to the end of December the Cautious Managed Sector saw £3.4bn in net retail sales, down from £4.3bn a year earlier, according to the IMA.
Second most popular for the year was the Strategic Bond Sector, with sales of £2.8bn down from £2.9bn in 2010 when it also achieved second place.
By asset class balanced funds were the highest sellers as investors tried to steer clear of putting their faith in any single asset class.
Bonds were next in line, with equities coming in fourth and other (the asset class that covers Absolute Return strategies) in third place.
In total, net retail sales for the industry were down to £18bn for the year, after record sales of £29.8bn and 29.3bn in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
The bulk of sales were concentrated in the first half of the year when, at £13.6bn, they were broadly in line with those in 2010. But they fell away sharply in the second half when net retail sales were £4.4bn compared with £15.6bn a year earlier.
Funds under management at the end of the year were £571bn, down 3% on the end of 2010.