'U.K.'s Warren Buffett' Urges Investors To Get Back-To-Basics

Neil Woodford, the U.K.'s answer to Warren Buffett, called for investors to get back-to-basics in a note published Wednesday after attacking the short-term mindset of companies and investors.

Woodford, who led two Invesco Perpetual funds with £23 billion ($28.5 billion) of assets under management before establishing Woodford Investment Management in 2013, said he lamented the gradual extinction of value investors whose endangerment has been caused by both human hunting and disease.

"Much like the mountain chicken frog [a rare species native to the Caribbean], genuine long-term investors appear to be an endangered species. Their kind has been ravaged by a different form of disease - that of short termism," he said.

Woodford's sentiments will resonate with investors caught on the wrong of side of whip-sawing share prices during earnings season, many of which are swings created largely by consensus expectations for quarterly numbers - with little regard to key strategic developments or the long term story behind a given company.

Woodford holds up momentum strategies, an altar which an entire segment of the hedge fund industry has thrown itself at, as another symptom of the canker-like epidemic of short-termism that has gripped the financial industry and the corporate world.

"Buying shares because they are going up, or selling shares because they are going down - in effect, represents an outsourcing of one's decisions to the crowd," he wrote, before endorsing Charles Mackay's 200 year-old warning about the 'madness of crowds'.

Quite apart from the inconvenience of whipsawing share prices, Woodford flags the mis-allocation of capital as one of the consequences of short-termism, before warning that an entrenchment of such a trend could mean that real economic development and true value falls by the wayside as a priority among investors.

He attributes part of the U.K.'s oft decried 'productivity-puzzle' to short-termism, the mis-allocation of capital and under-investment in some areas.

"A lot of the fund managers I respected earlier in my career have now retired," he says, observing the dwindling numbers of up-and-coming money managers who are able to see beyond the consensus for next quarter's numbers.

"Our numbers are dwindling and that worries me."

Woodford's criticism, mostly aimed at the investment management industry, is poignant as it comes on a day when markets await details of the U.K. government's autumn spending review.

The first such review since the Brexit vote, on which markets have stacked hopes of a spending boost to help tide the economy through negotiations over Britain's exit from the EU, which is expected to commence by the end of March 2017.

More from Investing

Danica Patrick's Final Race at 2018 Indianapolis 500: What She Thinks About Cars

Danica Patrick's Final Race at 2018 Indianapolis 500: What She Thinks About Cars

Why The FANG Stocks' Dominance May Not Be So Bad For The Market

Why The FANG Stocks' Dominance May Not Be So Bad For The Market

At End of May, Investors Signalling They May Stay Away

At End of May, Investors Signalling They May Stay Away

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Neel Kashkari: The Heart of Our Financial System Is More Radioactive Than Ever

Neel Kashkari: The Heart of Our Financial System Is More Radioactive Than Ever