When Luke De Stefano learned last week that £28,000 ($54,304) of his money was suddenly trapped in Neil Woodford's Equity Income Fund, he was left not only stunned but seriously inconvenienced.

Having been expecting to sell some of his holding, he was caught short by the shock suspension of fund withdrawals. "When it happened it put quite a lot of pressure on me because I had commitments I couldn't fulfil. I had to pass up a couple of other opportunities too."

Like thousands of other individual investors, he was enticed by the glittering reputation of the UK's best-known stockpicker. De

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