AIF’s objective is to provide a high level of income with the opportunity for income growth and capital growth over the life of the company. AIF is geared through a ZDP stock. The portfolio is split into two pools, one (70-80% of assets) is invested in UK small-cap equities, the other is an income portfolio containing sterling fixed-interest instruments, reverse convertibles and high-yielding shares in other investment companies.
Acorn Income Fund (AIF) saw a significant bounce back in performance during 2019, boosted by greater clarity on Brexit following December’s general election. In what was also a good year for the operational performance of companies in AIF’s small-cap portfolio (c 77% of assets), the fund ended the year with an NAV total return of 27.4%. This was ahead of the benchmark and more than made up for losses in 2018, meaning the fund has also regained its medium- and longer-term record of outperformance. While the smaller companies managers (Simon Moon and Fraser Mackersie at Unicorn Asset Management) are very positive on the prospects for both capital and income in the year ahead, the income portfolio managers (Chun Lee and Robin Willis at Premier Miton) are less sanguine, and remain focused on absolute returns as a result.