Can you beat Neil Woodford with these 6%+ yields?

Direct Line red phones
Direct Line red phones

Neil Woodford is considered to be one of the UK's best fund managers and luckily, the secret to his success isn't that secret.


Indeed, as Woodford has himself revealed before, his strategy relies on finding companies with an attractive, sustainable dividend yield with room for growth and holding for the long term.

Unfortunately, due to the high demand for Woodford's funds, his flagship CF Woodford Equity Income fund only yields 3.3% and there are better income opportunities out there. Here are two such stocks that both yield more than 6% and could help you beat Neil Woodford at his own game.

Long-term savings

Legal & General(LSE: LGEN) is the UK's leading pensions and investments manager. With nearly 200 years of experience, the company certainly knows how to grow sustainably. Growth has accelerated in recent years as more and more customers come to it looking for wealth management and retirement products.

Between year-end 2012 and 2016, Legal's earnings per share have expanded by 60% with the company notching double-digit earnings per share growth in most years during this period. As Legal is a long-term savings manager, the company has high visibility on future cash flows, which means management can set the dividend at a sustainable level every year with room for growth -- precisely the kind of conservative dividend policy Neil Woodford is looking for. Right now, shares in the company support a forward dividend yield of 6.2%, and City analysts expect management to increase the payout by 1p per share next year, giving a yield of 6.6% at current prices. The payout is covered 1.5 times by earnings per share and at the time of writing shares in Legal trade at a forward P/E of just 11.2.

Lucrative business

Billionaire Warren Buffett knows all too well how profitable the insurance business can be, having built a large part of his fortune in insurance. And you don't have to be a billionaire to profit from the industry's success.

Direct Line Insurance (LSE: DLG) has only been a public company since 2012, but management is already working hard to ensure that the business is known for its shareholder returns. Management is looking to return any excess cash to investors, and off the back of this goal, City analysts expect the group to pay regular and special dividends of 24.2p per share for 2017, equal to a yield of 7%. A similar payout is expected for 2018. Analysts have pencilled-in a 2018 yield of 7.5%.

Direct Line's 2016 results were hit by the government's decision to change the Ogden rate -- the discount rate used to calculate the value of compensation claims - but City analysts believe this was just a one-off. After falling 20% in 2016, analysts believe the company's earnings per share will grow by 37% for 2017. Based on this prediction, the shares are trading at a forward P/E of 12.

On the road to a million

Reaching the magic £1m in savings mark is a goal few investors achieve but by following a strategy similar to that employed by Neil Woodford, you can greatly improve your chances of hitting this milestone.

To help you on this path, the Motley Fool has put together this new free report entitled Your 10 Step Guide To Making A Million.

The report is a collection of investing tips that should help you improve your investment returns and limit losses.

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Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.