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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Mutual Fund Observer, September

Hi, guys.

We posted our September issue late on the evening of September 1st, as usual, but decided to delay this announcement until this morning. We were thinking that you’d rather get the reminder when you were fresh in the morning, rather than late at night. As Derf notes in a separate thread, I'd be curious to hear folks reflection on the decision.

My publisher’s letter celebrated the start of the college year, my Propaganda class, the propaganda that you’re being bombarded with, the rising influence of frantically trading young stock investors (uhh, 20-25% of daily volume!), strategies to consider for managing a weak dollar environment and a sort of buyers guide for face masks. It’s a fairly busy missive.

We face uncertain times, and so we shared stories of three funds whose managers have seen many years and many market adventures. They seem like the sorts of people you’d want at the helm just about now.
  • Jim Callinan manages the five-star Osterweis Emerging Opportunities Fund (OSTGX) now, but his career encompasses the frantic '90s and a Morningstar manager of the year award. We profile the fund.
  • Eric Cinnamond and Jayme Wiggins manage one of the two top-performing small value funds, Palm Valley Capital Fund (PVCMX), up 15% YTD which is about 30% above their peers. That success shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been following their absolute-value strategy back 20 years. Palm Valley just became available through TD Ameritrade. We explain why I just added PVCMX to my portfolio.
  • Mark Oelschlager managed the very fine Pin Oak Equity Fund (POGSX) until he and Tina struck out on their own. They’re now replicating his Pin Oak strategy in their new all-cap Towpath Focus Fund (TOWFX). We share a belated Launch Alert of the youngster.
I think a conversation between the three would be fascinating if only because their views of the markets and investing are so dramatically different.

Complementing those individual fund-focused pieces, both Lynn Bolin and I take on the question of alternative funds that are demonstrably worth keeping around. Lynn’s piece is the broader of the two, “Alternative and Global Funds during a Global Recession.” I stuck close to my knitting with “The Long (and Short) of It: Top-Tier Long-Short Options" and starts with a short eye-roll in response to the WSJ observation that "most" long-short funds are a disappointment. (Duh.)

Ed Studzinski offers a surprising recommendation of “Where Not to Invest.” Hint: he’s not worrying you about stocks.

Charles Boccadoro takes inspiration from Warren Buffett’s recent comments about the meaning of "long-term".

In a mini-T. Rowe Price fest, I explain the decision to add T. Rowe Price Multi-Strategy Total Return (TMSRX) to my portfolio and we offer a Launch Alert for the active, low-cost ETF version of four of T. Rowe Price’s large-cap funds.

And, as always, Chip’s compendium of manager changes, plus funds in reg (Dodge & Cox is about to hit the emerging markets and T Rowe Price is launching active ETF versions of huge funds), liquidations, and other industry news.


  • Thank you very much.
  • I see PVMCX and TMSRX, both funds I own now, the latter for my MIL, the former after taking tax loss in PVFIX.

    I am appalled Oelschlager and Callinan can still point to their records when it is clear they can ONLY make money in one kind of market. One that simply lets you throw darts at the index. Food for thought, imagine you had invested in POGSX 20 years back. Please go and see how much money you would have today. Some track record.
  • Nuts. Lost my (draft) note to VF. (sigh) I'll try again.


    Mr. O. didn't run POGSX 20 years ago. When he came onboard, he began moderating its aggressiveness and ended up outperforming the S&P 500 pretty substantially. ($10K grew to about $30K with him and $25K with the S&P 500 during his stint at POGSX.) I have no idea of why he left Oak Associates, through that difference of styles might have had some relevance. In any case, it's a LCV with cash for now.

    Mr. C. got killed in 2000-02. I think he learned from the experience. The SEC permitted Osterweis to include his private partnership in the fund's prospectus, so there's about a 10 year record with about 200 bps of annual outperformance. It does not appear that the returns reflect excessive risk; standard deviation is a bit high, but all of the other measures of risk and risk-adjusted returns are at or below average.

    As always, the goal is not to flog a fund - in either the positive or negative sense - just to be sure we're willing to look at places that we'd normally write off without much examination.

    Cheers, David
  • edited September 12
    Actually I'm not flogging the fund at all. I'm flogging the managers. I agree we should we willing to look at places we otherwise wouldn't. Exactly why I pointed out the managers. The funds are incidental. People who still have hair need to examine in which markets Callinan performed for instance before deciding to give him more money, especially after the bull run we have had. I know when I had hair, I didn't look in the right places.
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