Recent history has been challenging for income-seeking investors.
Over the past 18 months or so, shifts in investor preferences have led high-yielding shares to struggle to keep pace with other segments of the equity market, while bond yields have collapsed on a global scale.
Since the Global Financial Crisis, investors have been willing to pay handsomely for shares in 'growth' businesses, crushing the dividend yields on these companies.
Higher dividend-yielding 'value' shares, on the other hand, have been comparatively unloved.
In this environment, the market has indirectly asked investors to choose between capital growth and income - few shares offer both in abundance.
This is especially problematic in the UK, where even smaller companies often pay out to their shareholders.
The UK equity market's tilt to value shares, together with localised issues such as Brexit, has seen it underperform compared to global peers, even with higher dividend yields on offer.
It is worth noting this is a relatively recent phenomenon: this pattern is broadly true of 2018 and 2019 so far, but the relationship between high yield and poor share price performance breaks down the further back we go.
Previously, there was greater potential for active managers to find income and capital growth combined in UK shares, though the current situation could be self-perpetuating for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, in bond markets, global yields pushing lower has meant exceptionally good capital gains for those already invested.
However, the stock of negative-yielding debt globally has now topped $17trn, raising serious questions about the future income prospects of bond portfolios. While negative yields have not yet infected the UK, yields are still low, and finding truly compelling income in bond markets often means sailing beyond UK shores.
But beyond equity and bond markets, rather fortuitously, the range of products available to income managers is expanding.
This includes derivative strategies and alternative assets, and gives those with a multi-asset remit greater freedom to create more balanced portfolios.
Jaisal Pastakia is an investment manager at Heartwood Investment Management
• Income managers have an expanding range of products at their disposal
• The 'growth versus value' dichotomy that has punished equity income investors recently is unlikely to last
• UK equity investors have been forced to choose between capital growth and income since early 2018
• While the UK has been spared the global plague of negative-yielding debt, bond yields are still low