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Let's compile a performance list of the "Best Funds"


mpauls
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Collective efforts will make this much easier.  

 

Why don't we compile a list of the best funds with at least a 10 year track record.  This could be Hedge Funds, Mutual Funds, Money Managers, whatever, but there should be a solid basis for the numbers presented.  This could be the numbers provided in a prospectus, PPM, letter to partners/investors, etc., but the idea is to support the stated returns with facts.  In some cases this may require intuition (e.g. If you only have performance data from 1999, you could make a close approximation if the fund has been closed to new investors and you know current and historical AUM figures).  If the support data is not easily uploaded, then send me a message, we'll exchange emails, I'll keep track, and make everything available once there is a decent amount of info.  But I would first try to upload info to the forum so others can contribute, critique, etc.  

 

Oh, "best funds" is with respect to Annualized Returns.    

 

Unless someone else has another idea, let's try to do it in the following format:

 

10yrs

15 years

20 years

Since Inception - if 15 or 20 year data NA then next one would be Since Inception. 

 

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As a formality I'll come back later and summarize later, but here are the results for John Paulson's Funds.

 

http://www.synthesispartners.net/Partnership%20Blog/Paulson%20%26%20Co.png

 

 

 

http://www.synthesispartners.net/Partnership%20Blog/Paulson%20chart.png

 

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Apollo Asia Fund from Claire Barnes

 

NAV of 915,31 USD at Sept. 30th,2009 (new ATH again) compared to 100.00 USD at Nov. 30th,1999.

This performance is achieved after fees and 15 % incentive allocation!

 

Since inception 11 years ago the NAV had a annual compound growth rate of NAV of 28 %!

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The following table shows the Net Asset Value per share for the Apollo Asia Fund Investor Shares (Class A shares) since launch at $100 at end-Nov 99, and of the predecessor Apollo 001 portfolio adjusted to the same base.

 

At end of: NAV US$ 

   

Sep 09  915.31

Aug 09  902.93

Jul 09  888.66

Jun 09  839.13

May 09  780.24

Apr 09  666.42

Mar 09  577.39

Feb 09  568.46

Jan 09  597.14

Dec 08  615.94

Nov 08  559.84

Oct 08  584.67

Sep 08  733.65

Aug 08  806.98

Jul 08  833.40

Jun 08  865.01

May 08  900.01

Apr 08  885.72

Mar 08  847.55

Feb 08  862.10

Jan 08  822.17

Dec 07  869.77

Nov 07  852.05

Oct 07  893.22

Sep 07  880.16

Aug 07  816.53

Jul 07  829.89

Jun 07  821.99

May 07  802.28

Apr 07  797.54

Mar 07  771.07

Feb 07  757.72

Jan 07  737.75

Dec 06  740.11

Nov 06  727.04

Oct 06  691.84

Sep 06  678.42

Aug 06  682.04

Jul 06  681.88

Jun 06  668.65

May 06  684.11

Apr 06  707.40

Mar 06  675.37

Feb 06  638.17

Jan 06  608.31

Dec 05  572.53

Nov 05  556.81

Oct 05  544.11

Sep 05  545.05

Aug 05  540.74

Jul 05  535.87

Jun 05  533.73

May 05  530.23

Apr 05  533.59

Mar 05  532.62

Feb 05  542.17

Jan 05  511.96

Dec 04  498.87

Nov 04  484.56

Oct 04  466.69

Sep 04  458.05

Aug 04  431.95

Jul 04  429.74

Jun 04  415.66

May 04  410.22

Apr 04  428.39

Mar 04  455.44

Feb 04  457.14

Jan 04  438.91

Dec 03  428.92

Nov 03  403.27

Oct 03  396.90

Sep 03  334.88

Aug 03  300.34

Jul 03  256.57

Jun 03  224.66

May 03  208.66

Apr 03  183.87

Mar 03  176.45

Feb 03  179.77

Jan 03  177.06

Dec 02  177.19

Nov 02  172.09

Oct 02  168.10

Sep 02  168.26

Aug 02  172.75

Jul 02  171.47

Jun 02  169.76

May 02  174.63

Apr 02  162.31

Mar 02  159.52

Feb 02  147.81

Jan 02  141.84

Dec 01  128.56

Nov 01  124.67

Oct 01  116.30

Sep 01  114.32

Aug 01  118.35

Jul 01  112.82

Jun 01  112.30

May 01  108.07

Apr 01  95.09

Mar 01  95.41

Feb 01  98.24

Jan 01  98.02

Dec 00  95.79

Nov 00  93.83

Oct 00  96.25

Sep 00  98.09

Aug 00  104.74

Jul 00  102.99

Jun 00  102.29

May 00  100.17

Apr 00  104.30

Mar 00  108.92

Feb 00  102.91

Jan 00  104.40

Dec 99  103.86

Nov 99  100.00

Oct 99  91.83

Sep 99  90.09

Aug 99  95.99

Jul 99  95.92

Jun 99  95.21

May 99  79.47

Apr 99  70.86

Mar 99  58.65

Feb 99  58.77

Jan 99  61.18

Dec 98  63.26

Nov 98  65.90

Oct 98  52.70

Sep 98  40.76

Aug 98  33.04

Jul 98  38.09

Jun 98  43.27

May 98  50.80

Apr 98  60.55

Mar 98  65.82

Feb 98  59.62

Jan 98  34.59

Dec 97  48.21

 

 

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Not necessarily easy to track hedge funds vs mutual funds but here is a quick list of mutual funds with long historic records/managers:

 

US : CGMFX (Ken Heeber)

Canada : Sprott Canadian Equity (Sprott) FrontStreet Special Opportunities (since 1999 with Lamarche) and Vertex (Vertex team)

Norway : Skagen Global

Asia :  in addition to Appolo, www.targetfund.com has a great record.

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You should ask yourselves how much leverage (if any) was used, and were there outliers?  Claire Barnes is a terrific manager, but some of that result is from being in the hottest market over the last decade.  Paulson almost certainly uses some leverage and had the outlier of making a killer return the last two years betting on the demise of the credit bubble.  Cheers!

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"Claire Barnes is a terrific manager, but some of that result is from being in the hottest market over the last decade."

 

Yes, but I think an asset allocator has the task to look for interesting markets and invest into them.

These are primarily markets where the demographics are more like a tree than a cone sitting on his tip, economic policies on a trend to liberalisation instead of sozialisation, sound montetary relations instead of a debt addicted economy, ideally with the government's part of GDP decreasing, good productivity gains, relativ good purchasing power parities in international comparison and of course a market valuation below intrinsic value (whereever the asset allocator thinks it is?) as well as below more mature markets on the basis of usual metrics like P/FCF, P/E, P/S etc.

Of cause the law-system and transparency must be taken into consideration as well, but not be frightend of.

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WRT to leverage and Paulson. Strip out the leveraged #'s in the graphics provided above by mpauls and Paulson's performance is excellent, IMO. If I read the Paulson AR correctly, the Merger Arb fund consists of long only positions, while the event arb fund consists of a long/short strategy. With the event arb fund, I believe that it's net short as of the AR date. I think that Paulson and his team know what they're doing, so I would be comfortable with how they are hedging. They seem to have a track record long enough to show that they can perform in good times and in bad.

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I personally think that performance comparison should be done among the funds who don't use leverage. We want to see which firm did good job of allocating the capital on risk adjusted basis and leverage can hide the fact . If high leverage is used, the risk is very high most of the time to feel comfortable with any kind of return. With high leverage you can always pick top 10 performers which survived and forget about the rest 90 which got wiped out. Even without leverage, its good to see how they are investing to get the idea of their process.

 

LTCM guys were very intelligent and all banks assumed that they knew how to control the risk but with so much leverage the risk was very high and it caught up with them. I wouldn't trust even buffet with that kind of leverage althought due to excess capital, he had more surviving power to reap the reward, but still... So every comparison should account for the risk involved else we are comparing apple to oranges.

 

If a manager uses some process which can be replicated for next 30 years without putting whole capital at risk only then I think manager is doing investment else its pure speculation which might have paid off few times. I didn't mean to say that Paulson or some other manager used wrong process because I don't know much about their process. If they did it without taking the risk of getting wiped out then its good else it doesn't matter how high the return was.

 

 

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Fairholme (Bruce Berkowitz)

 

Source: FAIRHOLME CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC. (MAP) Letter:

 

Managed Account Program:  Inception (December 30, 1999)  

 

http://www.synthesispartners.net/Partnership%20Blog/Untitled%202.png

 

Over one year, three years, five years and ten years, the MAP Average cumulative returns are -14.3%, +3.5%, +52.1% and +130.2% while the S&P Average cumulative returns are -26.3%, -22.8%, -10.9% and -20.3%. The MAP Average outperformed the S&P Average by 1,200, 2,630, 6,300 and 15,050 basis points in each of the respective periods.

Since inception, the MAP Average is up 215.8% versus an 18.4% increase in the S&P Average. $1 million invested in MAP when started on October 1, 1997 would have been worth about $3.16 million on June 30, 2009 compared to about $1.18 million for a like investment in the S&P Average.

 

Fairholme Fund

 

http://www.synthesispartners.net/Partnership%20Blog/FairholmeFund.png

 

Chart

 

http://www.synthesispartners.net/Partnership%20Blog/Fairholmefund1.png

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They seem to have a track record long enough to show that they can perform in good times and in bad.

 

You're correct, but it only takes one mistake to wipe out a string of successes...especially utilizing leverage.  Cheers!

 

I see your point, but what I was trying to say was that Paulson has leveraged funds and funds that don't use any. I meant to say that if you just look at the funds that don't use any leverage, their performance is solid.

 

Coming back to the topic of this thread, here's the Royce Pennsylvania Mutual Fund (PENNX) http://roycefund.org/Funds/Open/pmf/?fund_id=1.  16.5% return for 35yr period is quite satisfactory.

 

Average Annual Total Returns

 

As of Quarter-End 9/30/09

                        3Q*         YTD* 1YR         3YR

PENNX         20.91% 30.84% -3.33% -1.61%

Russell 2000 19.28% 22.43% -9.55% -4.57%

                  5YR         10YR         15YR         20YR

PENNX         4.50% 9.90% 10.45% 9.92%

Russell 2000 2.41% 4.88% 7.33% 7.87%

                  25YR         30YR         35YR

PENNX         11.18% 12.48% 16.50%

Russell 2000 8.95% 10.35% N/A

Annual Operating Expenses

0.91%

Inception Date: 10/31/1972†

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"Claire Barnes is a terrific manager, but some of that result is from being in the hottest market over the last decade."

 

Yes, but I think an asset allocator has the task to look for interesting markets and invest into them.

These are primarily markets where the demographics are more like a tree than a cone sitting on his tip, economic policies on a trend to liberalisation instead of sozialisation, sound montetary relations instead of a debt addicted economy, ideally with the government's part of GDP decreasing, good productivity gains, relativ good purchasing power parities in international comparison and of course a market valuation below intrinsic value (whereever the asset allocator thinks it is?) as well as below more mature markets on the basis of usual metrics like P/FCF, P/E, P/S etc.

Of cause the law-system and transparency must be taken into consideration as well, but not be frightend of.

 

Claire Barnes manages an Asia focused fund and should rightly be measured against an appropriate regional benchmark - she is not a global asset allocator. Actually, I knew her back in the 1980's when she was a young analyst - even then she came across as smart and independent minded. Another point to consider is the size of her fund in the early years - my comments below on Target Asia will explain.

 

Hi frog03

 

Do you mean http://targetfunds.com.hk/ instead of www.targetfunds.com as it is just a domain name offering site?

 

Frog might be referring to Target Asia which is based in Singapore: http://www.targetasset.com/Perf%20Latest%20Month.pdf

 

TAFL is managed by Teng Ngiek Lian whom I know well. I'm a long time investor in the fund. Teng is one of the best fund managers in the Southeast Asian markets. He has spread his focus to North Asian (China, Taiwan, Korea) markets in recent years but I think Value Partners HK (http://www.valuepartners.com.hk/html/eng/about_us/history.html) are stronger in that region. TAFL started out very small in 1996 and did very well for the first 7-8 years managing to sidestep two major bear markets in Asia during that period thus outperforming the benchmarks by a wide margin. However, since around 2004, TAFL has only just about kept pace with the market - due, imo, to fund size as well as the negative influence of having a larger institutional client base now.

 

For fair comparison of fund performance, I think we should look at risk adjusted returns vs the relevant benchmark. Risk adjusted returns help to compensate for leverage. Nevertheless, I agree that leveraged fund returns should be taken with a large helping of salt because you can never be sure when a blowup will hit.

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Thank you frog03 and oec2000 for the corrected link. Interesting - didn't know this fund.

Thank's a lot for your info oec2000 - I would consider myself lucky if I had such connections.

 

"

Claire Barnes manages an Asia focused fund and should rightly be measured against an appropriate regional benchmark - she is not a global asset allocator.

"

 

That is true for both funds. Both invest in Asia ex-Japan and both have outperformed their benchmark over the years (both mostly so in the earlier years).

In performance Claire Barnes was clearly superior:

 

Target Asia (inception Sept.'96): CAGR during this timeframe + 18 %

Apollo Fund (since end '97): CAGR during this timeframe + 28 % (which is for nearly the same time frame much much better!)

 

By the way - both charge a 15 % performance fee additionaly to the management fee.

 

While it is easy to follow the positions in the portfolio for about 50% of Teng Ngiek Lian's Target Asia Fund I have no idea how to get information about the holdings of Claire Barnes's Apollo Fund.

 

Anybody any idea?

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We have to be very careful with these.  Since they are only thinking short term, 1 & 3 years many of the top funds can hand have had a few years of out performance that will not continue longer term: Macro-self explanatory, managed futures-lots of leverage, Commodities-same as macro.  There are also plenty of funds not on this list.

 

This is a good list skim through, but a large number of them can and should be eliminated from the list we seek. 

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