- The high-yield small-cap screen has underperformed for the first time in eight years with a negative 7 per cent total return compared with a positive 11 per cent from the market.
- The cumulative total return in the eight years since the screen's inception stands at 191 per cent compared with 90 per cent from the market.
- Nine shares pass softened criteria this year.
It has been a truly shocking 12 months for equity income investors. For example, the negative 1.4 per cent total return from the MSCI World High Yield index compares with a positive 12 per cent from the MSCI World index. Life has been harder still for income investors in the left-behind UK market.
In keeping with this dire run, my high-yield small-cap screen has underperformed for the first time since I started to monitor it eight years ago. It was not that last year’s picks didn’t include some big winners, it's just that there were a lot of ghastly losers, too.