Shaper: Neil Woodford

Show aired on 19th December 2015


Neil adopted the same philosophy and long-term approach for the CF Woodford Equity Income fund that had underpinned his 30-year plus career. He invests in a company only when he is convinced of the compelling long-term opportunity but he also considers how the global economy influences the stocks he owns and the ones that he doesn’t. He shares Warren Buffett’s view that if you aren’t willing to hold a stock for 10 years then you probably shouldn’t even think of owning it for 10 minutes. When he invests in a business he does not expect to ever sell it. Clearly there will be opportunities, or on occasions he will be forced, to sell, but his discipline is to focus on the long term. When Woodford launched the fund it set out to challenge industry ‘norms’ – low-cost transparent fee structures, and openness regarding portfolio holdings with full disclosure of the entire portfolio and regular updates each month. Investor engagement via the website has played a key role in investor interaction and Woodford now has more than 24,200 twitter followers.

Follow Neil on Twitter @woodfordfunds

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“I studied economics at university. It wasn’t a terribly good course, it wasn’t that well taught and I ended up leaving university not really knowing how the world works.”

“I had nowhere to stay really, I had no money and I kipped on my brother’s floor.”

“I have talked about a balance between humility and arrogance. Good fund managers have those two sides to their personality.”

“When I played rugby I was probably excessively competitive.”

“I was beginning to believe that I could be a half decent fund manager and I wanted to go somewhere that enabled fund managers to express their talent.”

“My ability to deliver good outcomes for investors is a product of my own judgement, but that judgement is massively informed by the people who I have surrounded myself with.”

“I think if you don’t enjoy it then don’t do it, and do something else.”

“We are working harder than we have ever worked before….maybe a bit too hard actually at the moment.”

“The idea is that the internet and the availability of information ought to have made us more productive; I think it has actually made my industry less productive.”