February 1, 2020

By David Snowball

Dear friends,

Focus, people! Focus!

It’s never wise to focus on just a single trading day, especially one like the last day of January 2020:

Goodness, no. That will surely lead you to all sorts of bad decisions: selling your portfolio, readying Yahoo Finance, rending your garments, drinking a Keystone (or a Natty Bo, a Natty Lite, a Genny Cream…).

God forfend.

One alternative is to focus on stuff that Continue reading →

Rule #2: Know the Short and Long Term Investment Environment

By Charles Lynn Bolin

While writing this article, I am reminded of Alan Greenspan’s comment about “irrational exuberance” in 1996 and Ben Bernanke coining the phrase “global savings glut” in 2005. Roughly three years later we had the bursting of the Technology Bubble and the Housing Crisis. We now have inflated asset prices due to nearly of decade of “Quantitative Easing”. The CNN Fear and Greed Index is a Continue reading →

Biggest Bang for your Buck

By David Snowball

20 Equity funds with the best capture ratios over the entire market cycle

Capture ratio is a sort of “bang for your buck” summary. It’s calculated by dividing a fund’s upside capture (a fund that typically rises 1.1% when the market rises 1% has an upside capture of 1.10) by its downside capture (a fund that typically falls 1.1% when the market falls 1% has a downside capture of 1.10). Capture ratios greater than 1.0 reflect funds that produce more gains than losses; all other things being equal, high capture ratio funds are offering you the greatest reward for every unit of risk you’ve been subjected to.

Capture ratios even the playing field for cautious and aggressive investors. A cautious investor might look for a fund with a downside capture of no more than 0.80. Given that constraint, anything above Continue reading →

Looking Under the Hood at Holdings

By Charles Boccadoro

“Don’t trust everything you see. Even salt looks like sugar.” ― Anonymous

The MFO Premium site now has fund holdings; specifically, top-ten holdings for equities and fixed-income securities, countries, and main industry sectors … thanks to our expanded Lipper (now Refinitiv) Global Data Feed.

What’s more, all are searchable with the site’s main tool MultiSearch. Here’s a screenshot of the new holdings metrics on Continue reading →

great horned owl

FAM Dividend Focus (FAMEX) Prior to 2019, this was FAM Equity-Income, February 2020

By David Snowball

Objective and strategy

The strategy attempts to provide current income as well as long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in stocks that pay dividends. The managers think of themselves as value investors and attempt to answer the question, “if I could buy the whole company at these prices, would I?” That means calculating its “true business worth” and comparing that to the current stock market cap. They attempt to remain fully invested in stocks and convertibles. They tend to buy mid-caps, though their willingness to let winners run means that Continue reading →

old license plates on a wall

Funds in Reg

By David Snowball

The funds in registration with the SEC in January will launch right around April Fool’s Day. For some, that’s probably foreshadowing.

Two particularly interesting sets of launches:

American Century has debuted two actively-managed, non-transparent ETFs, both with ESG screens.

WCM is launching three new funds, all international, all quality-focused, two explicitly ESG-focused. WCM has a really outstanding, off-the-radar record. The non-ESG versions of these funds are both Continue reading →

old alarm clock

Manager Changes, January 2020

By Chip

Every month we track changes to the management teams of equity, alternative and balanced funds, along with a handful of fixed-income ones. Why “a handful”? Because most fixed-income funds are such sedate creatures, with little performance difference between the top quartile funds and the bottom quartile, that the changes are not consequential. Even in the realms we normally cover, the rise of management committees dilutes the significance of any individual’s departure or arrival.

Chip tracked down 74 funds with manager changes this month. Most of the changes are Continue reading →

fountain pen writing a note

Briefly Noted

By David Snowball


Effective December 31, 2019, founder Bill Nasgovitz resigned as president of the Heartland Funds and retired from its Board of Directors. He was succeeded, on January 1, 2020, by his son Will.

On December 31, 2019, founder James Oelschlager and his wife Vanita, the owners of Oak Associates, completed the transaction to sell substantially all of their ownership interest to a group led by members of their management team

A quick congratulations to Dennis Baran for being sharp-eyed and active. In December, our Elevator Talk focused on Joe Shaposhnik of the entirely-excellent TCW New America Premier Equities (TGUSX). Dennis, the author of several fine fund profiles for us, was intrigued by what he read, investigated and discovered that while Continue reading →