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Seafarer Overseas G&I

edited January 2014 in Fund Discussions
Does any one know if there are any ETFs (one or several in combination) that are comparable to Seafarer? Any information shared is appreciated. Thank you and Happy New Year to all.


  • Dear varmint: scroll down and read 'Frequent Fliers" " Oberweis Rainier Seafarer"
  • Not familiar with any ETFs that use preferred and common stock the way SFGIX/MACSX do. FEO is a CEF which might be closest. It is essentially a balanced EM bond/stock portfolio. There is a review here in the Funds section.

    There are a spate of EM ETFs which focus on dividends. DEM and DGS come immediately to mind, though DEM's methodology has forced it to overweight state run Chinese and Russian firms. DVYE is available w/o transaction fee at Fido, as is the "minimum-volatility" EEMV.

    Is there a particular reason you are looking for ETFs and not an active open-end fund like SFGIX?
  • Am I missing something? I have been following this board for several years and am aware of the seemingly unbridled support for this fund, especially from David Snowball. I don't understand the hoopla. This is a so-so performer and I really would like to know its appeal. Thanks and Happy New Year to all.
  • Reply to @Alejandro: It has been so-so compared to what?

    I mean, if you're comparing SFGIX to the broader U.S. market (up 42.5%) or Developed Markets (up 30.8%) since its inception, sure it looks miserable. If you're comparing SFGIX to its EM peer group, Seafarer had top quintile returns last year, and has returned 18.5% since inception, where an investment in VEIEX has returned -4.3%. It has done so with less volatility (at least according to Charles' figures). MACSX, which almost no one considers a bad fund, returned 22% over that same time, with a meaningful stake in developed Asia, including >10% in ultra-bullish Japan.

    Seafarer is certainly a "groupthink" fund here, but it seems to me the broader problem isn't its specific performance but general expectations of short term returns for EM equity funds.
  • 1-year MSCI EM: -9.53%
    3 years: -5.58%

    SFGIX: 1-year +2.19%
    (too young for a 3-year number.)

    ...It does not look wonderful to me, either. Until you compare apples to apples, I guess.
  • I switched from SFGIX to WESNX about a year ago and never regretted that.

    SFGIX : 13 wk: -0.19%
    1 yr.: 2.19%
    WESNX: 13wk: 5.8%
    1 yr: 14.32%
    Both are new funds and have no 3 yrs record.
  • Besides performance, I can't find much information on WESNX. What made you decide to switch from SFGIX to WESNX?
  • Reply to @EMinvestor: For what interest it holds, the fund documents on WESNX.

  • I compared the performance of these two and followed them daily for few months before I did the switch. I imagine myself like a basketball recruiter, when I find an interesting prospect, I will give them a trial. If it still performs well, then keep them. If not, dump them. For newer funds, the only truth is the performance. My port is rather large for an individual (7 digits), so I watch them daily, and It is only hobby I have.
  • The only thing similar about them is that they both call themselves Emerging Markets funds. Given its composition, WESNX will be much more volatile up and down. For a fund trader, watching daily may indeed be a requirement.
  • M* mentions THDAX today, an EM fund which seems pretty comparable to SFGIX but has outformed since SFGIX's inception and has a 3 year track record that earns it 5 stars. Any thoughts? Obviously SFGIX at not quite two years old is too young to judge based on its track record along (as opposed to its managers' previous record, which is spectacular), but does anyone have any thoughts on THDAX?
  • edited January 2014
    Reply to @MarkM: Agree. Seems like more of an asset allocation move than a fund switch to go from SFGIX to WESNX. Not that it's a bad move on momentum grounds, just an observation.
  • Reply to @expatsp: I refuse to look in detail at its composition, but M* says it has 17% in US stocks, which I didnt know was still a developing market. I'd start there for part of the answer at least. If that 17% is up 30% or so over the last year, you've bested your bogey just by the simple math.
  • Reply to @AndyJ: Why do yall say that WESNX looks much more volatile than SFGIX? It has more holdings, and so far, doesn't seem much more volatile in its performance.
  • Reply to @David_Snowball: Thanks, David. What I meant though was any sort of interview, where I can get a feel for the managers' investment styles.
  • edited January 2014
    Reply to @EMinvestor: Guess I wasn't too clear; I didn't intend my comment to be about volatility, only that a growthy, high-P/E fund is not the same thing as a value-leaning, income-oriented, lower-P/E fund -- therefore the "asset allocation" comment.

    However, maybe I should have mentioned volatility specifically: the only available down-capture ratio (1 yr.), according to M*, is 146 for WESNX vs. 106 for SFGIX. From those figures, you'd expect the Blair fund to get hit harder in a correction. (The number of holdings isn't something that controls downside volatility independent of what the exact holdings are.)

    Again, this is not a criticism of the fund switch, just an observation. FWIW, I'm no diehard fan of SFGIX; I own it but have reduced my stake in it considerably.

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