The once-praised fund manager Neil Woodford has issued a subdued apology to investors after losing millions of pounds on a selection of disastrous stock picks.
Appearing on a video blog on his own website, the City star – dressed in jeans and a jumper – said he was “right to be criticised” and was “very disappointed” with his funds' short term performance.
“It's been a difficult period. And I'm very sorry for the poor performance that we've delivered really now since 2016,” he said.
Woodford lost millions when Provident Financial's share price crashed last month. His investments in AstraZeneca and Imperial brands have also suffered as each company has encountered its own hurdles – the former a failed lung cancer treatment, and the latter a regulatory hitch.
However, Woodford added that it was important to maintain investment discipline. He implied that the market may be “making an error” in its valuation of some companies, which is a “painful place to be” but may work its way out in the long term.
“The temptation is to move away [from those companies],” he said, “and just hide in the group where everyone else is investing.”
But he added that this would be “entirely the wrong thing to do” and the firm had to “put the hard yards in”.