By Tom Winnifrith | Sunday 10 September 2017
Neil Woodford's fund management group has spent vast sums advertising its products in the financial press and has received vast amounts of slavishly positive comment in the same publications. These two facts are, of course, in no way related. And so after Woodford said sorry, in a terribly unconvincing manner, for having done so badly over the past year how does the Mail on Sunday's Alex Sebastian, himself a unit holder, spin this? With fake news natch
Alex states up front:
The point should be made that using the starting date of its launch in 2014, Woodford Equity Income is still in market beating territory with a total return of around 30 per cent.
Really? What Alex is doing here is comparing Woodford's flagship CF Woodford Equity Income funds total return ( that is the increase in the unit price plus dividends paid out) with the performance of the FTSE 100 ( which does not of course take into account dividend payments) So that is apples and oranges.
Surely a fair comparator would be Woodford's funds against all the other UK funds which promise a yield plus capital growth. As the chart below shows Woodford has actually underperformed his peer group since launch (albeit marginally) .
The truth is there is no market beating by Woodford. That is fake news. The tawdry Sebastian then goes onto quote three experts all of whom are supportive of Woodford. Oddly, across the City, there are are many who point to Woodford's reckless investment in private companies often in high risk sectors such as biotech. They mention the high profile frauds he has backed.
But in the fake news Mail on Sunday when your starting premise is, essentially, a lie there is no need to offer any balance is there?
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