Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund has suspended encashments and additional investments for an as yet unknown period. This follows a period of underperformance by the manager that led to many investors withdrawing their investments.
In order to allow for an orderly disposal of investments to meet redemptions, rather than being a distressed seller, the fund has been closed temporarily. This will allow assets to be sold to meet the possible “rush for the door” when the fund re-opens.
Neil Woodford was one of the most highly regarded fund managers. He established himself as a dependable manager who outperformed most others over a period of some three decades. It is difficult to believe that he has suddenly become a poor manager. Like every manager, he experiences periods of underperformance when his investment style differs from current market sentiment. Over longer periods, his investment style has outperformed many others, so it will be no surprise to see him do so in the future.
Once the fund is open for business again we will be reassessing the future of the fund to determine whether it is one to be recommended.