April 1, 2023

By David Snowball

Dear friends,

Chip and I celebrated the start of Spring – or at least Augustana’s spring break – with a long sojourn to New Orleans. Our options were either a series of flights totaling about 10 hours or a 14-hour drive. For better and worse, we chose the latter, loaded the car with snacks, books, and music, and headed down the Mississippi from the Quad Cities to the Big Easy. The drive took us through seven states and one swath of utter destruction. The night before our passing, a tornado in Mississippi decapitated a forest adjacent to Interstate 55. Imagine, if you might, hundreds of mature trees either snapped off five feet above the ground or ripped up by their roots. It was spectacular and a sobering reminder of the price we’ll pay for a heating planet.

We ate well – she more Continue reading →

Bond Funds for a Recession and Falling Rates

By Charles Lynn Bolin

Bond investors think they’ve seen it all.

They are wrong about that. For people who first began investing in bonds within the past 4o years – say, since 1982 – the bond market must seem like a source of perpetual, reassuring, and unrelenting gain. Just chuck some cash into the Treasury market or investment-grade corporates, and voila! Instant wealth.

In that same period, global equity investors have been Continue reading →

Short Term Performance of Long-term Recommendations

By Devesh Shah

The eternal flaw of investment gurus, both on the web and elsewhere, is that they’re never held accountable for their bravado and bold recommendations. It is in the nature of the beast that one right guess lives on forever while an infinite number of horrendous recommendations vanish from the public mind. I think of Elaine Garzarelli, who made her fame from one right call – an impending market crash a week before the actual “Black Monday” crash in 1987 which saw the Dow drop 22% (7300 points in today’s terms) in a day – but somehow dodges rebuke for her Continue reading →

Artisan Developing World Fund interview

By Devesh Shah

An interview with Lewis Kaufman, founding portfolio manager of the Artisan Developing World Fund

My primary investment biases are two-fold. First, in general, I invest in public markets through low-cost, low-turnover passive vehicles. Second, in general, I invest in US equities. Both of those biases were arrived at through a combination of (painful) experience and careful research. That said, none of us benefit from being held hostage by our beliefs. In many ways, humility and self-doubt, curiosity, and the determination to keep learning are the hallmarks of our wisest citizens. And I aspire to learn from them. In consequence, I’ve spent a huge amount of time over the past six months talking with a cadre of the industry’s best emerging markets managers.

Home Bias

Investors worldwide have a powerful bias Continue reading →

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Osterweis Strategic Income Fund (OSTIX), April 2023

By David Snowball

“Yearning for the good old days is not an investment strategy”

Objective and strategy

The strategy is to preserve capital and attain long-term total returns through a combination of current income and moderate capital appreciation. The managers invest in income-producing securities, primarily high-yield bonds, but will shift the allocation to managing a changing risk and opportunity set. Such changes might include shifting toward higher quality or shorter duration securities and increasing the fund’s cash stake. As of February 28, 2023, 77% of the portfolio is invested in high-yield bonds with an average duration Continue reading →

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RiverPark Strategic Income Fund (RSIVX)

By David Snowball

Objective and strategy

The fund is seeking high current income and capital appreciation consistent with the preservation of capital. The managers invest in “money good” securities; that is, in securities where the underlying strength of the issuer is great enough that “the risk of loss of principal due to permanent impairment is minimal.” It can invest in both investment grade and non-investment grade securities depending on market conditions and opportunities. They can also invest in Continue reading →

The Tide Is Going Out

By David Snowball

“It’s like the tide going out; you’re starting to see all the things that have been waiting to happen,” David Sherman of Cohanzick Management, 15 March 2023 web call summary.

David Sherman is one of the industry’s most consistently successful fixed-income investors. He founded Cohanzick Management on the premise “return of capital is more important than return on capital.” His specialty is the pursuit of distinctive, low-risk diversifying strategies for fixed-income investors. “We try to focus on what we know and what we do well. We do not pursue investment ideas or strategies that are Continue reading →

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Seafarer Overseas Value Fund (SFVLX), April 2023

By David Snowball

“We are living through investment regime change”

Objective and strategy

Seafarer Overseas Value pursues long-term capital appreciation. The fund typically invests in common stocks, though the managers have the ability to add both preferred stocks and fixed-income securities. The investable universe includes both emerging markets, as traditionally conceived, and companies domiciled in selected foreign developed nations Continue reading →

fountain pen writing a note

Briefly Noted…

By TheShadow


Vanguard launched its Short-Term Tax-Exempt Bond ETF on March 9th. The ETF will optimize tax efficiency for investors seeking to allocate to the shorter end of the municipal bond market. It predominantly invests in short-term investment grade municipal bonds and will track the S&P 0-7 Year National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index. It has an expense ratio of Continue reading →