Adviser Says Woodford Is on Brink of a Bounceback

Article excerpt

ONE of the country's top financial advisers is backing Neil Woodford, manager of multi-billion pound investment funds Invesco Perpetual Income and Invesco Perpetual High Income, to come good again after a long spell of underperformance.

Joe Wiggins of Principal Investment Management and author of the well-regarded six-monthly report into the performance of equity income investment funds, says it is 'only a matter of time' before Woodford's continued emphasis on defensive stocks reaps rewards.

He urges the tens of thousands of investors with money tied up in his two funds not to lose faith.

Over the past three years, Woodford's income funds - with combined assets of [pounds sterling]18 billion - have underperformed both the average equity income investment fund and the FTSE All Share Index.

Last week, fund scrutineer Financial Express downgraded the funds, claiming Woodford's emphasis on limiting the downside was acting as a 'drag on growth'.

But Wiggins says: 'Our view is he has served investors well over the long term and will continue to do so.

'Woodford believes that economic growth will be anaemic and he has resultingly positioned the funds in defensive sectors insensitive to the fortunes of the economy such as pharmaceutical and tobacco stocks. …