income delivery is top priority for investors

Investors are generally willing to accept lower growth as long as income generation is maintained. So what’s the best way to deliver on that demand?

income delivery is top priority for investors


The difference back then was that most investors were genuinely shocked that the booming noughties were interrupted by the credit crisis.

Now, following three years of subdued growth forecasts, profit warnings and monthly scare-mongering from our beloved Mervyn King, a little more bad news has failed to tip investors over the edge.

According to many IFAs, their clients are prepared, and perhaps even willing, to accept lower capital growth as long as their income is maintained.

It’s not surprising that in this low interest rate, highly inflationary environment, investment management companies are coming up with myriad ways to entice the yield seeker.

Over the past few weeks Aviva Investors and Incapital Europe have been among the providers launching (potentially) inflation-beating structured products.

Meanwhile, emerging markets are increasingly being targeted for their income-producing potential, either through the launch of a dividend fund – as in the case of ING Investment Management – or with the launch of an EM income fund – as seen with BlackRock.

Aberdeen, Skandia and Threadneedle have also tapped into the pressure advisers are under to generate income for their clients, and will be running a seven venue roadshow on the topic during November. 

Another interesting devlopment has been the practice of investors sacrificing their capital in order to keep income levels maintained.

So, in the example of a traditional equity income fund, if the yield generation does not meet expectations then investors will allow for the erosion of their initial lump sum to boost it back up.

This allows them to maintain the lifestyle they are accustomed to and, depending on their stage of life and individual circumstances, could be a good or bad idea.

One clear knock on effect is that the next month they will have less capital from which to generate an income, but as long as that is explained to them, the funds are theirs to do with what they will.

What about new clients? How should advisers aim to deliver income to them?

It may well be a case of managing expectations and explaining that the heady days of something for nothing are behind us – for the rest of this decade at least.

But at least speakers at Portfolio Adviser’s Expert Investor Income forum, held last month, seemed undaunted by the task.

Out of five managers, we heard five different views on the best places to hunt for income: High yield bonds, UK blue chips, global equities, resources companies – the list continues.

So while a low-growth decade in developed markets now seems a given, the pursuit for income is set to continue, and product providers are on the case.



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