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White hopes of the equity income sector

I always look forward to seeing Principal Investment Management’s White List of UK equity income funds.

It rates funds using seven criteria based on performance, volatility and income distributed. It has been carrying out this study for 29 years and its clients have certainly profited from it.

This year, Invesco Perpetual high income and income head the list, with F&C stewardship income, Credit Suisse alpha income retail, Rathbone income, Artemis income, and Jupiter income performing well.

The remarkable fact is that, over the five years to July 1, when both the FTSE 100 and FTSE All Share indices fell, five UK equity income trusts showed returns of over 10 per cent a year, headed by Artemis income at 11.8 per cent.

Even the average income trust has outperformed the two FTSE indices over both five and 10 years.

For investors requiring income, seven trusts have shown returns of over 20 per cent, net of basic-rate tax, over five years, headed by Rathbone income, Royal Bank of Scotland equity income, Invesco Perpetual high income and Newton higher income. Rathbone income returned 22.4 per cent net.

But it must be remembered that not all UK equity income trusts performed well. Principal also produces a Black List headed by M&G income A – although even this fund produced a net income over five years to 30 June of 15.9 per cent.

Not one conventional UK equity income trust failed to beat the FTSE 100 index over the past five years and only three out of 211 general unit trusts outperformed Artemis income over five years.

My favourite funds are Artemis income and Rathbone income.


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