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Where should I invest now? 5 alternatives to Woodford

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The most famous fund manager in Britain is leaving next year to launch his own business, but where should smart investors turn?

Invesco Perpetual’s Neil Woodford’s departure has huge ramifications for investors, and although Invesco has moved to fill the void by appointing Mark Barnett to his two income portfolios, the fact remains many people will follow the money.

While many investors may simply switch their portfolio to back Woodford’s new venture, or stay put with Barnett, there remains a chance Woodford may wish to launch something totally different when he sets up his own firm, following in the footsteps of Fidelity’s Anthony Bolton.

If this happens, investors will need alternatives, and below are five highly-rated income funds investors might wish to examine more closely (all figures according to Morningstar).

1. Threadneedle UK Equity Alpha Income

Run by Leigh Harrison and Richard Colwell, the fund is managed using a contrarian style that is similar to Woodford’s. In the last five years it has returned 80% to investors, ahead of Woodford’s return of 69.2% and 68.7% respectively across his High Income and Income funds. The UK Equity Income peer group returned 69.2% in comparison.

2. Artemis Income

Managed by the two Adrians – Frost and Gosden – the £5.9bn fund has returned 69.3% over five years, in line with Woodford’s two portoflios.

3. Rathbone Income

Another fund run by a long-serving manager, Carl Stick’s portfolio went through a difficult spell a few years ago, but has returned to the top of the charts.

In the last five years it has edged out Woodford’s offerings, returning 71.4%.

4. Marlborough Multi Cap Income

A newcomer which has nonetheless captured a lot of assets, the £504m fund is co-managed by Giles Hargreave and Siddarth Chand Lall.

Launched in June 2011, it invests in a diversified portfolio of UK equities across all market caps with the aim of generating an attractive and growing level of dividend income and long term capital growth.

The fund has not yet reached its three-year track record, but over one year it is up 33.3% versus the sector average of 20.1%.

5. M&G Global Dividend

Although not a UK-focused mandate, the £7.4bn fund – run by Stuart Rhodes – has captured investors attention with its impressive returns.

Over five years the fund has returned 89.8%, versus a Global sector average of 62.8%.

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