Neil Woodford, one of the U.K.’s top fund managers, recently offered some of his tips on how to manage risk and find value in the market.
Writing for London’s Telegraph, Woodford says that being “highly selective” about his stock picks mitigates risk. “This leads on to my focus on valuation and, by searching for those stocks that I believe are undervalued, I am essentially investing where the risks are already in the price,” he writes. He adds that taking a long-term approach is key. “Stocks can be mispriced in the short and even medium term by the ‘noise’ of incessant data, announcements and opinion, but over the long term it is fundamentals that matter,” he says.
Woodford also notes that the economy and the stock market are two different things. “While the two can never be completely divorced, a weak economy does not necessarily mean weak equity performance,” he says.
Woodford says that in the U.K, stock yields have surpassed government bond yields — a rare occurrence. “In recent times, the crossing of equity and bond yields has proven to be a reliable buy signal for stocks and I think it is fair to say it does highlight the value in the market,” he says. (While his comments were focused on the U.K. and British equities, it’s worth noting that U.S. equity yields are also near U.S. Treasury yields.)