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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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Hold On or Move On

Any opinions on these funds?
MGGPX Morgan Stanley Global Opportunities
BGAFX Baron Global Advantage Fund
ARTYX Artisan Developing World Fund
MIOPX Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund, Inc. International Opportunity
MSSMX Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund, Inc. Inception Portfolio


  • Ime, at least some of the Morgan Stanley funds are "fair weather" funds. When conditions are favorable, they do wonderfully well. Unfortunately, when things are NOT favorable, they do equally poorly. Volatile, iow. "Developing world" hasn't done well other than in spurts.
  • I own BGAFX and MIOPX, have had for several years. My reasons for buying are still valid, so I am holding and will add/rebalance if this slide continues. Both are MFO Great Owl funds with proven management. They hold foreign and global high quality GROWTH stocks, and the rotation to value is evident. I had trimmed a bit from them in the fall as part of my regular rebalance, along with some risk reduction at the time. If I were to sell now, I think I’d be making the same mistake I’ve made in the past… watch a great fund fall, and sell at lows. These are more B&H core funds.
    Best of luck,

  • Ironically, MS strategists have been less bullish in their market outlook but some of MS aggressive funds are stuffed with highflying techs. May be these viewpoints can coexist with high portfolio turnovers.
  • edited January 2022
    Good funds but bad timing to hold them right now. Also there maybe already too much overlap; best to verify that first. YTD return on several of the above funds are already in red. ARTYX is down 7.9%, for example.

    More important questions should be why would foreign market excels in rising rate environment, and which specific market and market cap that would be? Last year was challenging to the developed and developing markets. Even with the argument of lower valuation, 2022 will likely even more challenging.
  • Please note ARTYX invests heavily into Developed market stocks and is at 50% now in Developed market stocks. Their theory may be that those stocks earn significant amount of their earnings from EM countries.

    I invested in it a month from inception and continued until 2018. After selling the amount I invested in mid 2021, I am still left with 174% of what I initially invested.

    Very high beta fund, but I have immense patience, and will use volatility to my advantage whenever it severely corrects. It also covers the LG portion Developed countries, something on the lines of VWIGX.
  • MGGPX: reduced
    BGAFX: reduced
    ARTYX: sold

    The first two funds had massive inflows in 2020 during run-ups; the opposite is true for 2021 when outflows are seen. The charts are ugly. ISTM that the managers will have a hard time reversing recent misfortunes because outflows are likely to continue.
  • I "think" what BenWP is trying to say, I wish they had closed the funds !!!

    Voting for a good week, Derf
  • Derf said:

    I "think" what BenWP is trying to say, I wish they had closed the funds !!!

    Voting for a good week, Derf

    MGGPX soft-closed in Dec '20, actually.
  • edited January 2022
    MGGPX - I reduced LY and added to PRGSX. Will hold remaining. Believe in it LT
    MSSMX - 1/2 here and 1/2 with WAMCX - evaluating whether to continue to hold or not
    ARTYX - very small position here, holding for 2022 but am in red quite a bit.

    MS funds have not been performing well. MACGX (Mid Cap) has been terrible for me as well. @yogibearbull is right, it is ironic - their analysts negative outlook vs fund managers. Will see if they can adjust.

    Edit/Add: 1/10/22 1PM: Paraphrase: Marko Kolanovic, JPM - Higher Bond Yields should not be disruptive to S&P Index, Near Term: We recommend Buy the Dip as the market is oversold and can handle higher yields. The reaction to the Fed is overdone. SMH

  • MGGPX/MGGIX will likely show a massive bloodbath today, based on the M* reporting of its holdings' prices as of 1045ET. Many large-percentage drops at the moment.

    I wonder if it's too early to pre-emptively harvest some losses for my 2022 taxes. :)
  • Just on EM in general, I listened to a Gundlach webcast recently, and his one end-of-presentation recommendation was to steer clear of EM until the dollar shows some sustained weakness. Thesis is that EM equity is setting up well for a run, possibly later this year, but not until the currency headwind dies down or reverses direction.
  • @rforno : When a fund, MGGPX as an example, has to sell stocks to cover redemption's what would one think the order of selling to be ?
    Winners, losers, or a little of both ?
    Thanks for your time, Derf
    No hijacking intended.
  • Funds tend to sell their biggest gainers first. That is what also generates yearend CG distributions.
  • This will be a bit painful to do but I will be selling most of my position in MIOPX. I really like the manager -- Kristian Heugh. But there is too much downside risk in his portfolio. One fund that I have added is CDC which Lynn Bolin has written about here. It is a low volatility defensive fund with heavy weightings in financials, consumer staples, and utilities. Held up very well in March 2020 and has a very nice long term record.
  • +1 CDC outclasses AUENX and YAFFX , 2 funds I've held in the past.
  • msf
    edited January 2022
    MikeW said:

    This will be a bit painful to do but I will be selling most of my position in MIOPX. I really like the manager -- Kristian Heugh. But there is too much downside risk in his portfolio.

    If you like the manager and want to dial down the risk a bit, you could consider MFAPX. The difference between the MS summaries is that MIOPX includes emerging companies, while MFAPX is primarily focused on established companies.

    Morgan Stanley MIOPX page
    Morgan Stanley MFAPX page

    Obviously they have a lot of overlap, but their figures are significantly different.
    Portfolio Visualizer comparison

    Close performance over 3, 5, 10 years (through year end 2021). A notable distinction is that from 2Q2020 on, MIOPX rose and fell faster. For example, YTD (2022), MIOPX dropped 9.23% and MFAPX dropped 2.83%. PV shows other significant differences (better figures are MAFPX):
    std dev: 16.58% vs. 12.99%
    max drawdown: 26.18% vs. 17.26%
    Sharpe ratio: 0.77 vs. 1.00
    Sortino ratio: 1.27 vs 1.71

    As one might expect with its higher volatility MIOPX had a much better best year (55.06% vs. 44.18%) and a much worse worst year (down 12.36% vs down 5.48%).

    According to M*, the best fit index for MIOPX is US Convertible Bonds!

    From inception through 2016 MIOPX tracked FISCX pretty closely. (MIOPX even returned less over this period). Then it became more volatile and returned more. But it wasn't until 2020 that it took off like a rocket. And then fell like a stone. In that same period, MFAPX also rose with MIOPX, but not as quickly and with much gentler spikes.
  • On PV MFAPX and MSFBX provide similar results-too much overlap to hold both?
  • @msf yes you raise some excellent points. I went through that same analysis that you describe above and evaluated both funds 2 years ago. Long term they both have similar track records. But MFAPX gets there with much less volatility. MIOPX actually held up quite well in the March 2020 selloff -- only dropping about 15% in comparison to 19% for its category. But things really turned south for MIOPX and other funds with large emerging markets exposure when China cracked down on its technology industry last year. I think you can trace its underperformance starting then. I might return to MFAPX at some point but am looking for more of a large cap blend. I find selecting an international fund to be quite difficult because they have underperformed the U.S. for so long. This year to date foreign value is doing quite well with funds like Dodge and Cox International up over 6% YTD but I wonder if this is a short term thing. Their long term track record is pretty poor. Again international is real conundrum.

    @carew388 It's funny you mention MSFBX because that one has come up on my screens too. I really like that funds defensive posture with about 30% in consumer staples. Unfortunately it also has a 20% allocation to tech so if tech continues to get hit as I believe will happen -- you won't be safe in the fund. YAFFX is intriguing with a great long term track record -- also more of a global fund. It is one fund I'm looking at also. I think this is going to be a difficult year to make money though.
  • I feel the same about MGGIX, which is taking a bath these days. While I didn't think of it at the time when I bought into it, it definitely acts and is built more like a global tech fund than a general global 'stock' fund ... which seeing its recent performance does force me to reconsider its (fairly limited) role in my holdings.
  • When I look at the portfolio for MGGPX/MGGIX I see that their tech component consists of primarily those 'disrupters' many managers have taken a liking to. I'm just thinking that could be part of the reason the fund has hit a recent rough patch. I'm not all that impressed with their current top 10 holdings.
  • I “feel” like the entire Morgan Stanley portfolio is just tanking this past year. I’m sure there must be some good MS funds, I’m just not in them.

    I exited MSEGX. I own 4 others. MACGX has been an absolute disaster the last 12 months. MSSMX has been close to the same. MFAIX … I’m keeping as it’s better than an index I have in a deferred account. But I’m ready to move on from MGGPX as well. I may sell on TUE and put some more in PRGSX.

    This thread is offering good advice.
  • @JonGaltIII. Hi Jon. Ive been evaluating options on the defensive and value side. Options that look interesting to me are CDC (U.S defensive low vol), FNDF (Internationalvalue) and both Dodge and Cox International and Global. This could be the year that international value finally outperforms. I also think that the UK looks good. Check out the sector makeup of EWU. Ive already bought CDC.
  • @MikeW appreciate the advice! I started looking at CDC when you mentioned it last time. Looks solid. Seems like value is trending the first weeks of the new year.
  • I recently purchased PWJZX and I'm getting spanked the past 2 months. I'm certainly not a market timer but looks like I 'timed' this one ...badly! Also, own ARTYX aka the Global fund with 50% in EM.
    In hindsight, not sure if owning both is necessary ...other Int'l holdings are WAGTX, MSMLX
  • edited January 2022
    These 5 funds make up 5% of the total portfolio. They all at one point had greatly appreciated in value in the past year, but in the last 6 weeks have moved down significantly. Overall I am up in value from the initial investment, but down considerably from the high points. So the question is "Hold On or Move On?" Hold on meaning are they likely to appreciate in the next year and stay with them or Move on meaning to put the present value into allocation funds where 95% of the portfolio is invested and be happy that I did not lose any of the initial investment?

    MGGPX Morgan Stanley Global Opportunities Negative return
    BGAFX Baron Global Advantage Fund Positive return
    ARTYX Artisan Developing World Fund Negative return
    MIOPX Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund, Inc. International Opportunity Positive return
    BCSVX Brown Capital Management International Small Company Fund Positive return
  • edited January 2022
    I have no idea if your 5 funds will appreciate in the next year.
    Regarding your question whether to "hold on or move on":

    Why did you purchase these funds in the first place?
    Have there been any material changes (management, strategy, etc.) since the initial purchase date?

    When there have been no material changes to a fund, I usually opt to "hold on".
    However, if funds' volatility/drawdowns create excessive anxiety it may be best to "move on".
  • Bobpa, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, I too hold MIOPX and BGAFX, both representing LG global, together around 15% of portfolio. I’m holding, for reasons Observant asked about above. Both are funds are highly rated, respected managers, and fill a role in the portfolio. Given the conservative overall AA of my total portfolio, equities less than 50%, I’m okay with the volatility. Actually, I’m prepared to add when I next rebalance. As mentioned on another thread about the research on tinkering with one’s portfolio, I try and remember “less is more”. I’m not sure I agree that rebalancing is the same as tinkering.
    Best of luck,
  • I sold MGGPX because I felt the funds strategy had taken a hard turn. I'll get back in possibly because I like their manager but only if their compass gets repaired.
  • CDC is interesting. I would like to see how its idiosyncratic portfolio sector composition changed over time, say in the past 6-8 quarters. I would appreciate it if somebody could share this information, even from memory if the info is not contemporaneously saved.

    Just an FYI -
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