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Julian Gibbs

I always look forward to Principal Investment Management’s annual study of UK equity income funds, which is now appearing for the 29th year.

Its White List identifies the 12 funds which have delivered the most attractive combination of total returns combined with low volatility over the past five years. Eleven of the 12 funds ranked in the 2004 White List remain there. This is evidence that there is a small group of genuinely talented fund managers capable of outperforming on a consistent basis.

Heading the White List by a substantial margin is the Rathbone income fund managed for the past five years by Carl Stick. Its dividend yield is 3.5 per cent and over the past five years the net income has totalled over 23 per cent.

Other funds that appear in the list include the F&C stewardship income fund, Jupiter income fund, the two Invesco Perpetual UK equity income funds, Schroders income, Newton higher income, Lion Trust first income and Credit Suisse income retail.

Stick has managed the unique feat in the UK equity income sector of maintaining top-quartile performance in each of the past five years. Being up by 61.8 per cent, he is the top performer of all over five years. Over the past 10 years, the income has risen by nearly two and half times.

At the other end of the scale, Lincoln income has lost investors over 17 per cent and ScotAm P&D equity income over 14 per cent. Others funds which have lost money or made less than 10 per cent for investors over five years, including net income, are Henderson Global Care income, Scottish Widows UK equity income and Halifax UK equity income.

Stick is brilliant and consistent and I particularly recommend his fund.

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