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Dodge & Cox: The San Francisco Treat

edited November 2012 in Fund Discussions
FYI: As a value shop has run into a ruff patch now and then, but is still and outstanding fund company.


  • edited March 2013
    Thanks Ted. Good article.
  • edited November 2012
    Thing I never got about D&C as a "value shop" is that they're funds are always fully invested (or about 95% fully invested). I tend to think "value investing" would require a manager from holding cash when there aren't enough values available, or when the existing values would lead to an overly-concentrated portfolio.

    Otherwise (and aside from the bloat issue mentioned above), I like D&C well enough, and hold two of their funds.
  • edited November 2012
    Ah, D&C. A favorite topic. I've actually been digging into this fund's performance, as mentioned in previous post. Almost finished. Hope to post shortly. Think both hank and Shostakovich make good points. Thanks Ted for article. (Though truth be told, M* has had a crush on D&C for years, while never warming up to OAKBX, which has waxed DODBX the past decade.)
  • edited March 2013
    Reply to @Shostakovich: Point well taken
  • edited March 2013
    Reply to @Charles: Hi Charles. I don't know. Every dog has its day.
  • edited November 2012
    Reply to @Charles: The media in general really digs D&C, and I think generally for good reason. In addition, Osterweis recently said he wanted his shop to become something like D&C. FMI's managers, I believe, speak well of D&C (I think FMI's director of research as a D&C alum), as has Jack Bogle.

    I think D&C is pretty no-nonsense and low profile, stays within their circle of competence, has a team process which mitigates the impact of one person leaving, and charges reasonable fees. I believe they're also privately held, which is a plus in my book. They also closed their US stock fund to new investors at one point. At least one media outlet did a follow-up with D&C as a result of their performance through the Great Recession. D&C was forthright about it, and provided considerable detail about how they realigned their investment teams and process. They seem like a classy bunch that is genuinely proud of their heritage and committed to being a responsible fiduciary for their investors. In that regard, I have few concerns about D&C.

    Downsides are, for me, their rather large AUM (which is maybe how they can keep their fees so reasonable), and their particular practice of the value investing philosophy. As regards another comment in this thread, to me true value investing means being willing to hold cash as a residual of hte stock-screening process: if there's nothing to buy because everything is priced dear, then don't buy. This is the type of thing FPA, Sequoia, and Tweedy Browne do. Maybe that's best called "deep value" these days. Regardless, D&C has an explicit goal of staying fully invested, which I often wonder puts them at risk for value traps or deviating from their "value" goal. Fully invested or not, they did step into it with HP and a few other value traps, and seem to have made a few other missteps on both the bond and domestic stock side (but, I would fully expect an even well-above-average active manager to have a bad year every so often). Further, I'd rather have an all-cap value fund, but D&C's AUM is so large, it probably precludes that.

    That said, when I compare DODFX (for example) with other "deep value" international funds (such as Tweedy) and, over the long haul, D&C wins out. DODWX has underwhelmed, but that may be due to the timing of the fund launch, and value traps (which also showed up in DODGX).

    Disclaimer: I hold DODIX and DODFX as does my wife.
  • edited March 2013
    HERE - Number of open ended mutual funds in the U.S.:

  • Can D&C be pruchased NTF at any brokerage house?
  • Reply to @bee: Hi bee. I hold them direct. Far as I know that's the only way. (Could be wrong.) Regards
  • edited November 2012
  • Reply to @bee: I checked Schwab for you- not there, evidently.
  • @bee: Not at Fidelity either...
  • AFAIK, there's no brokerage that sells D&C NTF, but ...

    At WellsTrade, if your account is linked to a Wells Fargo PMA (checking) account, they'll waive the transaction fee (TF) on 100 trades/year/account. So technically there is a transaction fee ($35), but they may not assess that fee.

    At American Century, once you have established a position (via their brokerage), they allow you to set up an automatic investment plan with zero fee for transaction fee funds, including D&C.

    From their FAQ:
    If I set up automatic investments on a transaction fee fund, will I have to pay a transaction fee on each periodic purchase?
    No. As long as you establish an Automatic Investing Plan and invest a minimum of $100 automatically into your mutual fund monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually, you will not have to pay a transaction fee.
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