Income investing

Model Portfolio Review: UK’s troubles call for change of direction

The UK equity market lagged international stock markets in the first half of 2018, and it was the same story in the third quarter, with the FTSE All-Share index posting a loss of 0.8 per cent. In contrast, the FTSE World index returned 6.2 per cent in sterling terms.

While the underperformance of UK equities may whet the appetite of more contrarian-minded investors, as far as our model portfolios are concerned, it was a big factor behind eight of the 12 falling short of their relevant FTSE UK Private Investor index benchmark in the three months to 1 October.

Model Portfolio Review: Growth stocks propel models back to black

Markets shook off a rocky start to 2018 to return to form during the second quarter – and propel the Money Observer model portfolios firmly back into the black.

All 12 of our portfolios beat the relevant FTSE UK Private Investor index benchmark during the three months to the end of June – some by as much as 3.5 per cent. That saw them recoup losses incurred during the volatility that pervaded investment markets in the first quarter of the year – and then some.

How to find the most reliable dividend stocks

The one attribute that income investors arguably prize over any other is consistency – particularly those who use their investments to fund or supplement their lifestyles in retirement. For this growing band of investors taking advantage of the pension freedoms, a dividend cut is likely to hit the income they pay themselves in retirement.

FTSE 350 companies’ dividend cover doubles over 12 months

Average dividend cover – a measure of how sustainable dividends are – has doubled since this time last year among the FTSE 350 companies, according to research by The Share Centre.

Dividend cover is the ratio produced by dividing profit after tax by the total dividends paid out to shareholders. A higher ratio suggests the company has the cash to sustain dividends more comfortably and affordably.