CF Woodford Equity Income tops sector on first anniversary

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CF Woodford Equity Income tops sector on first anniversary
Star manager Neil Woodford's first eponymous fund, CF Woodford Equity Income, has topped the UK equity income sector over its first year as its assets continue to soar in value.

The CF Woodford Equity Income fund celebrated its first year of trading on Tuesday with a sector-busting 12-month return of 21%, making it the best-performing UK equity income fund over the period.

This compares to just 9.8% from the average fund in the UK equity income sector and 6.8% from the fund's benchmark, the FTSE All Share index, over the same period between the fund's launch on 2 June 2014 and 2 June 2015.

In addition, CF Woodford Equity Income's assets under management have swelled from £1.6 billion at launch to close to £6.2 billion today, with the fund topping numerous fund platform bestseller lists.

These include Interactive Investor, whose "top ten most bought" monthly fund list has been dominated by CF Woodford Equity Income since its launch.

Commenting on the fund's success, Interactive Investor's head of investment Rebecca O'Keeffe says: "CF Woodford Equity Income not only tops our list of most-bought funds over the past year, but it also stands as our most-held fund overall, ahead of Aberdeen Emerging Markets Equity and AXA Framlington Biotech.

"The youngest Woodford investor on our platform is five months old, and our oldest is nearly 100, and Woodford's mass appeal has been justified by spectacular performance across the year. Passive and active investing has long polarised opinion, but Neil Woodford is perhaps the single biggest contributor to the argument that [active] outperformance can be achieved," says O'Keeffe.

Woodford announced his departure from his previous firm, Invesco Perpetual, in October 2013 after over 25 years with the company.

He made his name with Money Observer Rated Fund Invesco Perpetual Income, which delivered a return of 1,688% during his tenure - turning a £5,000 investment in 1989 into £89,400 by October 2013. This compares to 669% from the average UK equity income fund and marks Woodford out as one of financial services' most successful asset managers.

Woodford is known for his "buy and hold" approach to investing, an approach that ultimately led to the launch of his most recent initiative, The Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT). The trust, which like CF Woodford Equity Income also launched with record assets under management, aims to invest in early stage British companies.

These types of company have long formed the "tails" of Woodford's blockbuster funds and trusts, but this launch should allow him to focus more closely on them. However, some have cast doubts over how successful this strategy may be with the trust's current £800 million of assets under management, a level that usually forces managers to take positions in much larger firms.

This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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Fund Data
Name1 Year (%)3 Years (%)5 Years (%)Rating
AXA Framlington Biotech13.3245.14177.492 star(s)
Aberdeen Emerging Mkts Eq18.2032.4842.633 star(s)
CF Woodford Eq Inc-1.3423.56-5 star(s)
Invesco Perp Income3.3315.4256.963 star(s)

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