February 1, 2023

By David Snowball

Dear friends,

Welcome to February. It’s a month we associate with love, St. Valentine’s Day. As holidays go, it’s another triumph for the marketers. The holiday began life as a Roman fertility festival, Lupercalia, and its attendant parties. Eventually, the Christian church made the same move here as they did with the pagan year-end festival; they repurposed the December solstice festival into Christmas and the February fertility festival into St. Valentine’s Day. The moves gave them one more tool for converting party-loving pagans into … well, party-loving Continue reading →

One of a Kind: American Century Avantis All Equity Markets ETF (AVGE)

By Charles Lynn Bolin

My last article on Seeking Alpha suggested that value, international, small caps, and emerging markets would outperform over the coming years. David Snowball wrote “The Investor’s Guide to 2023: Three Opportunities to Move Toward” last month along the same lines and offers his insight into these asset classes along with some excellent funds. I follow the Bucket Approach, where some Buckets have similarities to Dr. Snowball’s “Terrified Investor,” “Exhausted Investor,” or “Enterprising Investor.” A Reader on Seeking Alpha asked my opinion about Continue reading →

Richard Cook, “Where there’s mystery, there’s margin”

By David Snowball

I’m a sucker for an intriguing headline, and CityWire’s John Coumarianos came up with a doozy: “EM managers had (another) year to forget. But one fund defied the gloom” (1/9/2023). The triumphant reveal was:

only one out of the 816 funds in the Morningstar Diversified Emerging Markets category with a 2022 track record posted a positive number. That was the relatively unknown Cook & Bynum fund (COBYX), which returned 9.29%. Continue reading →

In Defense of Taking Risk

By Devesh Shah

The S&P 500 Index peaked at 4800 in December 2021. Thirteen months later, at the end of January 2023, the Index is down 16%, at a level of 4076. Suppose you did a Rip Van Winkle and woke up just in time for the New Year 2024 celebration… and found the S&P 500 index trading at 2400, putting the index 50% below its all-time peak. Would you buy the market, perhaps doze off again, or would you sell? The record is clear: Continue reading →

Launch Alert: Matthews Emerging Markets ex-China Active ETF

By David Snowball

On January 11, 2023, Matthews Asia launched Matthews Emerging Markets ex China Active ETF (MEMX). It is an actively managed ETF that might invest in every country in the world except China, the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and most of the countries in Western Europe.

Our January issue originally, and mistakenly, suggested that the fund had launched on 12/31/2022. That was corrected as soon as Matthew’s representatives let us know of the error. Our regrets!

The fund will be Continue reading →

fountain pen writing a note

Briefly Noted

By TheShadow


The sad saga of Phaeacian Global Value and Phaeacian Accent International Value funds rolls on long after the funds’ liquidation. As MFO readers know, both started life as (entirely excellent) FPA funds. FPA and the managers negotiated a deal with London-based Polar Capital for the funds and their teams to be adopted by Polar under the Phaeacian brand. In principle, the deal made sense for both parties, with the funds receiving broader distribution and FPA receiving a revenue-sharing agreement and a chance to refocus on their core products.

In reality, the partnership Continue reading →