Neil Woodford fund tops performance tables

Neil Woodford

Star fund manager Neil Woodford's own investment venture has given early backers returns of 7.4%, according to analysis from Hargreaves Lansdown.

CF Woodford Equity Income launched in June after Woodford left Invesco Perpetual to start up on his own.

And the fund has got off to a flying start, with Woodford attracting more than £8 billion from investors in just six months and posting the best return over the period. By comparison, the FTSE All Share has returned -0.5% in the same period and the average UK Equity Income fund has returned 0.7%.

His replacement at Invesco, Mark Barnett, has also seen an impressive return of 4.7% over the six months.

Analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown said both managers' performance was largely down to their sector calls, with Woodford for example shunning tech stocks and banks and taking large stakes in pharmaceuticals. The fund's largest holding is AstraZeneca with 7.51% of the Woodford portfolio.

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Flying high

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "CF Woodford Equity Income was one of the biggest fund launches in recent years, and while it is still early days, the fund is flying high in terms of performance.

"There were those who wrote Woodford off when he launched his new offering, on the basis the fund had no track record. This totally neglects the fact that in a fund like this, the manager's skill is the most important consideration for investors.

"Both Woodford and Barnett can let their fund performance do the talking. They have delivered significant outperformance for investors over both the short and long term. Woodford has the longer track record, but our analysis suggests both managers are very capable of adding value through skill, not just luck."

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