Dec 2007-Jan 2008

PAST PERFORMANCE: "How accurate have our predictions been?" - Niklas Tell

To ensure that funds europe and its readers learn from the good recommendations as well as the bad this column has made over the years we decided to reflect on what has been said and how accurate it has been. Here are 10 comments, published from January to November 2007: niklas_tell.jpg January 2007, ‘Alexander the Great?’: Fidelity European Growth Fund
In the January column I wrote: “If he manages to keep this great offering ahead of its peers he will have earned the heading he received here – Alexander the Great. Alexander Scurlock, who took over as lead manager at this Fidelity flagship on 1 January 2007, is off to a great start.” The fund is up some 12% in euro terms so far this year (to the end of October).

March 2007, ‘Worldly Wise’: T. Rowe Price Global Equity fund
In the March column I wrote: “Rob Gensler took over this fund in 2005, but even if he is new here he has been with the company for some 13 years and has managed Media & Telecom as well as Global Technology.” 2007 has been a decent year for the fund and it’s ahead of its peers in the Global Equity Large Cap Growth category as of the end of October.

April 2007, ‘Medicinal Purposes’: Carnegie Medical
Funds in the health care sector have had a difficult time in 2007, but Henrik Rhenman who has managed the Carnegie Medical fund since its launch in December 1998, is at least ahead of his peers so far this year. The fund is just outside the first quartile at the end of October.

May 2007, ‘Opportunistic value investors’: Franklin Mutual Beacon
Morningstar has decided to place this fund in the Global Equity Large Cap Value category, and in that peer group the fund looks like a bad investment. With some 70% of the portfolio invested in the US I disagree with Morningstar’s classification and this is still a solid offering for investors looking for US exposure.

June 2007, ‘The Long and Short of it’: Edinburgh Partners Global Opportunities Fund
So far this year the fund lands in the bottom of its Morningstar category and the June comment is therefore still valid: “Edinburgh Partners Global Opportunities Fund is off to an excellent start, but given its contrarian, unconstrained stance and long-term focus investors should not be surprised if it falls behind its peers over certain time periods. Those who stay the course should be rewarded.”

July 2007, ‘The future of leisure’: Invesco Global Leisure Fund
The July profile on the Invesco Global Leisure fund stated that the biggest question mark on this fund would be timing, ie, is today the best time to invest in goods and services that consumers spend their money on once they have taken care of the essentials? With heavy exposure to the US and to consumers the fund has had a strong headwind this year.

August 2007, ‘Positive change’: Gartmore SICAV US Opportunities Fund
The August comment stated: “Gartmore has handed over the responsibility of its Luxembourg domiciled Gartmore SICAV US Opportunities Fund to Denver’s Marsico Capital Management and specifically to Cory Gilchrest. That is a good thing and it means that this is a fund to keep an eye on going forward.” So far that was a correct call and the fund is well ahead of its peers over the last couple of months.  

September 2007, ‘A clear property outlook’: Standard Life Select Property Fund & Global REIT Focus Fund
In the September comment Andrew Jackson, the property manager at Edinburgh based Standard Life Investments, said he still sees value in property around the world. He added that the only cloud on the horizon would be a recession in the US. With that risk increasing over the last couple of months the fund has obviously had a tough time and is down significantly. The performance is, however, in line with its category peers.

October 2007, ‘Long/short is the new long’: JPM Europe 130/30
In October I said the following about JPMorgan’s Europe 130/30 fund: “In the end a 130/30 fund is simply a new packaging of an existing investment processes. If a book is bad you should not expect it to improve by redesigning its cover. The same simple truth holds for these products as well.” Over the last three months, this fund was two percentage points ahead of its category peers (Europe Equity Large Cap Blend).

November 2007, ‘New name, same fund’: Fidelity European Dynamic Growth Fund
The fund recently changed its name, but nothing else has changed. Managed by Trygve Toraasen, this is an offering worth considering. It’s ahead of its peers, and lands just outside the top quartile.
The Past Performance column has been running since October 2005 and profiled a solid line-up of funds in 2007. To make sure we keep the fund selection at a high standard and to make sure we d­on’t miss interesting new offerings I very much Look forward to getting your input. Send your 2008 candidates to [email protected].

• Niklas Tell is the founding partner of Tell Media Group

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