Three stocks to protect your income from rising inflation

Professional investors Alastair Laing and Peter Spiller, co-managers of the Capital Gearing Trust, pick three stocks with long-term inflation-linked revenues

After decades of quiescence, inflation appears to be rearing its head once again. With interest rates likely to remain well below inflation for many years, savers face the dismal prospect of ever-diminishing purchasing power.

At Capital Gearing Trust, we focus on protecting the value of our clients’ wealth in real (after inflation) terms. There are a number of tools that we use in pursuit of that aim, including substantial investments in inflation-linked bonds. We also focus on specialist equities, typically investment trusts and real estate investment trusts (Reits), which benefit from long-term inflation-linked revenue streams. These are three examples from the infrastructure and specialist property trust sectors.

Long-term cashflow from infrastructure

International Public Partnerships (LSE: INPP) is an FTSE 250 investment trust that holds stakes in over 100 public infrastructure projects in a range of sectors. Its areas of focus include electricity transmission, transport and education. Recent new projects include subsea transmission cables linking UK offshore windfarms to the electricity grid.

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Project revenues are regulated or backed by government contracts, and are long term with a weighted average life of 32 years. The portfolio enjoys substantial inflation protection: the managers estimate that portfolio returns increase by 0.8% for every 1% of inflation. This results in a well-underpinned 4.2% dividend that has historically grown by at least 2.5% per annum regardless of the economic environment. If inflationary concerns start to escalate, these secure inflation protected cashflows should be valued at a significant premium.

Affordable inflation-linked rents

Residential Secure Income Reit (LSE: RESI) has two principal assets within its portfolio: retirement flats and shared ownership accommodation. The retirements flats are let to elderly residents on affordable rents which rise in line with the retail price index (RPI) each year.

Shared ownership accommodation involves the trust selling a share of residential properties to homebuyers and then renting to them the balance of the house. The purpose is to help house buyers take ownership of properties they would otherwise be unable to buy.

The trust is able to secure grant funding from the government which it uses to ensure the rental charge is affordable. These rents also rise in line with RPI. The combined effect results in a high-quality income stream that enables it to pay a 4.7% dividend that should rise in-line with inflation.

Uncapped RPI-linked leases

Secure Income Reit (LSE: SIR) holds a portfolio of high-quality assets on long leases including leisure assets leased to theme parks, private hospitals and hotels. Other similar trusts trade on significant premium to their underlying asset value, but Secure Income Reit trades at only a modest premium. A majority of its long leases are linked to RPI without any caps, which could prove very valuable in the event of a serious surge in inflation.

Alastair Laing is co-manager of the Capital Gearing Trust