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North American Income: are dividends finally edging out buybacks?

Paul Atkinson, manager of the £296 million North American Income trust, tells Wealth Manager why be believes US companies are coming around to dividends after long favouring buybacks.

Atkinson also makes the case for sticking with the temporarily unpopular but high-quality consumer staples, even though this has cost the fund some relative performance.

Over the past three years North American Income has returned 30.6%, compared with 45.1% from the S&P 500 index.

Yet Atkinson maintains that, particularly in a low-growth environment, reliable dividend payers will prove their worth.

The North American Income trust is furthermore distinct from its peers in running a small bond portfolio and in using option overlays to boost revenues, and Atkinson explains how he is handling those exposures at the moment.

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