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Purplebricks investor top of class for returnsNeil Woodford, the star' fund manager who in August pumped £7m into the Purplebricks.com online agency, has turned out to be top of his class for returns.

An assessment of UK equity income funds over the past six months shows Woodford's own fund, Woodford Equity Income, to be the most successful with backers gaining 7.4 per cent.

Woodford's fund made most of its gains by backing pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in its battle to fend off a bid from Pfizer, and from investing in tobacco stocks which - arguably against expectations - have risen in recent month.

Over the summer Woodford's decision to back Purplebricks won derision from some traditional estate agents, but the investment supremo - who quit Invesco Perpetual early in 2014 and attracted billions from small investors when he set up on his own - backed what he called the highly disruptive online agency model.

Purplebricks, set up in April this year, allows vendors to sell for fees from £599. It also targets landlords, offering a tenant-finding service for a one-off fee of £199.


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    James and Jess Thank you so much for pointing out my insensitivity, I have clearly been watching too much Top Gear :-) Of course a cynic may take your remarks to be disingenuous, not me though.

    • 09 December 2014 17:41 PM
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    Nice one Simon, nothing like insulting anyone who might require the use of anti-depressants.

    • 09 December 2014 15:05 PM
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    oh simon shinerock. you are a [b]funny[/b] man.

    please tell me, as a company director, is a public forum the best place to make light of antidepressant use do you think this is an appropriate subject to make humorous comments about considering the suffering that vulnerable people who must take them go through and the stigma that is attached to any sort of mental illness

    • 09 December 2014 14:09 PM
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    Proof of the pudding and all that, plenty folk have done well , often by luck, in one filed or another, then fail when they get off core (ask Tesco!) lets comment when they publish some accounts, those will be close to being fact rather than PR.

    • 09 December 2014 13:29 PM
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    PurpleMick I think you are confusing marketing with negotiating and selling, all different skill sets. The brilliant thing about estate agency in this country is that, for the moment, any have a go hero can have a go. However, as your namesakes will find out, it's all been done before and the Internet changes nothing fundamental, it barely reduces the real costs of doing the job right. I learned the hard way that cut price is a foolish strategy in a service led business.

    • 09 December 2014 13:18 PM
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    Interesting viewpoint GB. Although I have not had any dealings with PB myself, I had come to the conclusion that they were one of the better proponents of the online model pushers and this sort of investment would seem to back up this theory.

    But, and maybe I am missing something here, how can someone as successful as Woodford justify investing 7m into a firm that has a share of just a 2-3% market share

    • 09 December 2014 10:57 AM
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    I had purple bricks out for a valuation as an experiment. They take your money whether you sell or not and then apart from put you on the internet they do nothing for you. Vendors want and deserve a proper service. 90% of the work is done after the sale has been agreed. I think this investor has made a bad choice this time and will lose his money.

    • 09 December 2014 10:47 AM
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    Yes, but I think you might be slightly biased going by your name.

    • 09 December 2014 10:46 AM
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    Ignore the signs at your peril - why would you instruct a regular 'head in the sand' estate agency.

    PB is cutting edge, cheap and no money up front - why wouldn't they be a success

    • 09 December 2014 10:30 AM
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    only if you can stand the Ros-The-Market articles :)

    • 09 December 2014 09:14 AM
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    What it tells us is that we are under attack from people out there that want our turf. And from people that have the means to compete. This is exactly what we need to know.

    • 09 December 2014 09:12 AM
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    NotNews I think the relevance is that these new ventures are getting their funding from somewhere and here is an example of where, a fund manager with no obvious experience or expertise but access to other people's money, I find it reassuring

    • 09 December 2014 09:09 AM
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    Really EAT this is your top story, time to switch to property eye

    • 09 December 2014 09:09 AM
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    Past performance is not a guide to future performance, at least he will have access to plenty of anti depressants when this duck won't fly :-)

    • 09 December 2014 09:06 AM
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    Stop - how on earth is this newsworthy/relevant - it'll be what he had for breakfast next at this rate!

    • 09 December 2014 08:46 AM
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