Trading scandals, which have rocked the mutual fund industry in the United States, did not scare investors from buying managed equity funds last month, according to fund research firm Lipper. Investors pumped a net US$24 billion into US equity funds last month, despite probes launched by New York attorney-general Eliot Spitzer in September which looked into alleged illegal trading in the industry. 'While some of the fund brands named have suffered outflows, the discouraging news of wrongdoing did not send fund investors running for the sidelines by any means,' Lipper analyst Donald Cassidy said. Mr Cassidy said investors had made money over the past eight to 12 months and believed the damage from the scandal's fallout would be minor. In addition, American mutual funds had yet to settle the charges and no one was quite sure what the losses to the funds would be, he said. But more importantly, mutual fund investors cannot find alternative investment products for cash pulled from equity funds. Still, US mutual funds could experience net withdrawals should the industry scandal snowball and begin to spook investors, Mr Cassidy said. In fact, some institutional investors and intermediaries were now making significant moves, taking assets away from fund companies that had been accused of wrongdoing, he said. 'We believe that this season of delayed action will continue through at least the balance of this year, perhaps causing more outflow punishment in November than we saw in October,' he said. '[But] it is fortunate for the asset management industry that the revelations came in a period of market prosperity rather than pain, for we suspect such bad news a year earlier might have caused much more wholesale redemption.'