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Hunt for Income - November 2015

    Hunt for Income - November 2015


    Now, income can be generated via a variety of asset classes, including the ever popular equity income, as well as fixed income and also through property investing. Multi-asset products have also jumped on this bandwagon, with several asset managers offering multi-asset income vehicles.

    The changes to how people will fund their retirements have also propelled the search for yield, as the Investment Association highlights in its most recent annual Asset Management Survey.

    It suggests: “The need to provide income to those in retirement as a result of the pension freedoms is evident… Investors are looking for an alternative to the low interest rates elsewhere.”

    But the trade body points out investors now look to equity income funds for yield, where once they would have relied on fixed income. The report reveals net flows into fixed income funds peaked in 2009-10, and reached a low of £30m in 2013. Those flows did, however, recover in 2014 to £1.3bn, but were still below historical levels.

    “Investors are exhibiting a strong preference for equity income and sales of equity income funds increased to £7.8bn in 2014,” states the Investment Association.

    These findings are supported by research from Square Mile Investment Consulting & Research based on its website users’ viewing patterns of its ‘academy of funds’.

    Income has become a clear favourite among the site’s users in the third quarter of 2015, says Richard Romer-Lee, managing director at Square Mile.

    “Income was by far and away the most searched for outcome across the site during the quarter at 38 per cent of traffic,” he says. “This spike in popularity has been maintained since the new pension freedoms were introduced earlier in the year.”

    He observes: “A more unexpected trend is the move away from capital preservation towards capital accumulation.” Capital preservation accounted for 22 per cent of searches in 2015 by advisers, down from the first quarter of the year, while capital accumulation drove 27 per cent of adviser searches, up from 20 per cent in the previous quarter.

    An area once overlooked by many advisers but now becoming more prominent is investment trusts, which have a reputation for producing consistent yield.

    Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at the Association of Investment Companies, suggests: “This year’s pension changes means that some retirees will be looking for the additional flexibility that drawing an income from a portfolio can provide. At a time when FTSE companies’ dividend cover is low, some investment companies have been able to increase their dividend year on year… thanks to the sector’s unique ability to save some of the income received each year for a rainy day – a process known as ‘dividend smoothing’.”

    The demand for income is such that investors should keep an open mind as to how and where they can find it, while ensuring they remain comfortably within their risk parameters.

    Ellie Duncan is deputy features editor of Investment Adviser

    In this special report


    Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

    1. Sales of equity income funds reached how much in 2014, according to the Investment Association?

    2. Out of 36 global equity income funds in the IA sector, how many had more than 20 per cent invested in the UK, according to research by Neptune?

    3. What percentage of the MSCI World index is allocated to the UK?

    4. The top 20 yielding stocks in the FTSE 100 have a combined 2015 peak to trough of how much, more than twice the downside risk of the FTSE 250 index?

    5. The IA UK Equity Income sector saw net retail inflows of how much in September 2015?

    6. How many IA listed funds have ‘multi-asset income’ in their name?

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