As a direct equities investor, I've never taken much interest in funds, but you couldn't avoid the Woodford Capital saga. Stockopedia HQ is in Oxford, and it was notable that Neil Woodford decided to set up shop on the ring road here. Initially raising a few billion, before growing assets under management well above £10bn. We tried to interview him a few years ago, but our request was turned down. They were too busy to reply.

To begin with, all you heard about was success. Asset growth, strong performance, fund launches. I received a lot of Hargreaves Lansdown marketing materials at the time, with very glossy pictures & interviews of Woodford that I skimmed. I remember the Patient Capital Trust launch and its positioning as an exceptional opportunity. But I passed on all of these. As mentioned, I've just had no interest in funds.

In 2017 the story began to unravel, with large redemptions and rumours of too many illiquid holdings. Poor performance, then more problems and more redemptions. It began to get interesting, then scandalous. Performance dived with the main fund - the Woodford Equity Income Fund - falling by more than 40% peak to trough. It's now closed and shutting down. Meanwhile something like £100m in dividends had been paid out to Woodford and his partner since the fund launched.

It seems almost every financial journalist in the UK has covered the story. Hundreds of thousands of hurt investors are not happy. Some are taking legal action. What value could we add ?

Our Study

Well once the fund closed to redemptions in June, we got seriously interested. Woodford was well known for being transparent about his fund holdings. We thought we might be able to dig out all the holdings history for analysis. What would we find if we overlaid Stockopedia's share analytics onto Woodford's holdings history? What we discovered was quite extraordinary.

On Monday I performed a 1 hour webinar that unveiled our research. This research is available both as:

Over the next couple of weeks we'll be publishing a range of blog posts here, and on social media for anyone who is interested. We're hoping to wrap all this up in an ebook for further distribution…

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