James Coney  

The devil’s own job to change perceptions

James Coney

James Coney

Caution should prevail when a customer airs their views, and then some reality has to kick in.

If it looks a rotten deal today, then maybe it is time to revisit those decisions of yesterday in order to ensure that equity release has a future. 

Woodford rolls on

Depending on whose sums you believe, Neil Woodford has now made upwards of £7.5m in fees since the Equity Income fund was suspended.

In that time, performance across this and the Woodford Patient Capital trust has plunged.

There are two things here: first, we know performance in these funds is diabolical.

But it really is the height of idiocy to judge future returns in the Equity Income fund in particular over the course of a few months, particularly as a major overhaul is going on.

Second, despite the squeals of outrage from some parts of the media, I have long believed Neil Woodford should not drop his entire fee.

This is a period of huge transactions for the fund. Who would pay for them if Mr Woodford was not raking in any fees?

Savers in other funds, that is who.

Or the people he employs, many of whom have not done anything wrong but whose jobs would be at stake if he had to go through cost-cutting.

The sooner we are out of this dismal period, the sooner we can debate whether Mr Woodford really has a place in any saver’s portfolio.

Titanic anticipation

There will be a lot of self-invested personal pension providers waiting nervously now the Berkeley Burke mis-selling case has fallen apart.

This was always going to be the tip of the iceberg.

Now the floodgates may open – the claims companies are circling.

James Coney is money editor of The Sunday Times

@jimconey

Editor's Note: this column was written before it was announced that Woodford Investment Management was to close