Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Neil Woodford is Going His Own Way

There was big news today in the income investing world as UK fund manager Neil Woodford announced he will leave Invesco Perpetual in 2014, after managing money there for 25 years. 

When I first saw the headline, I thought he might be pulling a Peter Lynch and retiring at the top, but no, he's just setting up his own firm. 

Though Woodford is less well known in the US, his track record at Invesco Perpetual is top-shelf by any standard and he's the industry's best-known (and perhaps best overall) income investor

As such, I'm looking forward to hearing more from him and learning more about his investing approach once he's established the new firm. 

For now, I've put together a list of some of my favorite Neil Woodford quotes:
  • I look to invest in businesses that can provide sustainable long-term dividend growth. If I can invest in a businesses when its growth potential is not reflected in the valuation of its shares, this not only reduces the risk of losing money, it increases the upside opportunity.
  • In the short-term, share prices are buffeted by all sorts of influences, but over longer-time periods fundamentals shine through. Dividend growth is the key determinant of long-term share price movements, the rest is sentiment.
  • The economic outlook is tough and will stay so for some time. But the current yield available on selected stocks, combined with dividend growth, can provide decent returns. If you can invest at very low valuations, returns could be even more meaningful. Equity markets offer an attractive yield for investors looking for a better return on capital. This return is not risk free, but a selective and patient approach helps to mitigate risks.
  • I am...absolutely convinced that, in the long-term, valuation and fundamentals of a company are the only things that matter and, like gravity, those things will reassert themselves.
  • We do not focus on short-term performance issues; we focus on the valuation of fundamentals. Our disciplined approach guides us, we believe, to the best opportunities in the stock market and we are very patient investors. We expect our performance to improve when the market begins again to focus, as it inevitably will, on valuation.
  • I am not sure that I have ever really identified a catalyst that has changed anything...the catalyst that I focus on most of all is valuation; valuation is the only catalyst that I really trust.
  • The biggest challenge for me, I suppose, is holding my nerve...But I’m afraid you are condemned by your process and what you believe in, and you have to stick to those as a fund manager or you’ve got nothing to hold on to. We believe in what we are doing. I believe what I’m doing,
  • When we communicate with our investors, what we’re saying is don’t measure us on the basis of 6 months or a year. Look at us over a 3 to 5 year period. And if we can’t deliver those absolute positive returns, then vote with your feet.



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