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The performance of the Goldfarb 10


stahleyp
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As some of you might remember, Goldfarb (of Sequoia) selected 10 funds and compared them against 15 growth company funds several years ago (I believe 10 years ago) These hardcore value investors were supposed to beat the market over the long term. Though...that didn't happen.

 

Take a look at these gems:

 

Clipper Fund

FPA Capital

First Eagle Global

Legg Mason Value

Mutual Beacon

Oak Value

Oakmark Select

Source Capital

Tweedy Browne American Value.

And - Sequoia (I believe)

 

The only ones, best I can tell (since some have changed names, manages, taken over etc), that have earned their fees are First Eagle Global, Sequoia and Oakmark Select. 30% accuracy is pretty shocking! Even Oakmark Select is debatable - it's barely beaten the market over the past 10 years with much more volatility.

 

I took a quick look at the growth 15 and I was surprised that most of those (I didn't scan the whole list) actually held up much better than most of these funds. I sometimes wonder if value is just of style or if the Internet has done some damage to the value guys.

 

 

 

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Mutual fund value investing seems like a sucker's bet.

 

I agree that a lot of funds aren't great investments. I was just so surprised out how poorly the "Goldfarb 10" performed. I'm assuming a lot of value managers (hedge funds included) haven't done all that well.

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Mutual fund value investing seems like a sucker's bet.

 

I agree that a lot of funds aren't great investments. I was just so surprised out how poorly the "Goldfarb 10" performed. I'm assuming a lot of value managers (hedge funds included) haven't done all that well.

 

I'm not saying it would change the thesis any, but it may also help to realize that we've been in a market that has treated value stocks poorly for the last several years. Value as a whole (defined as low P/Es and low P/Bs) has underperformed the market for the last 3-4 years. I think you have to give the cycle more time to complete to see the full result. The end result may still be the same though.

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Mutual fund value investing seems like a sucker's bet.

 

I agree that a lot of funds aren't great investments. I was just so surprised out how poorly the "Goldfarb 10" performed. I'm assuming a lot of value managers (hedge funds included) haven't done all that well.

 

I'm not saying it would change the thesis any, but it may also help to realize that we've been in a market that has treated value stocks poorly for the last several years. Value as a whole (defined as low P/Es and low P/Bs) has underperformed the market for the last 3-4 years. I think you have to give the cycle more time to complete to see the full result. The end result may still be the same though.

 

I totally agree with two cities. I think there is a lot of money chasing yield in the markets. And definitely value investing is the flavour of our era. You can see that by the way WEB is almost defied. So there are a lot of individual investors chasing value stocks through these funds.  And these fund manager are smart and original thinkers but they are making a crowded trade. That coupled with the fact that value is out results in the above mediocre results.

 

I've given a some thought to curreen capital. Did you know the fund at last count had 5 (!!!) stocks. There are a lot of guys running small value funds like that I think their trade is crowded also.  That said I think value investing is the right way to go, but you just have to apply it in more original ways. And it being crowded you have to wait longer........

 

 

 

 

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Mutual fund value investing seems like a sucker's bet.

 

I agree that a lot of funds aren't great investments. I was just so surprised out how poorly the "Goldfarb 10" performed. I'm assuming a lot of value managers (hedge funds included) haven't done all that well.

 

I'm not saying it would change the thesis any, but it may also help to realize that we've been in a market that has treated value stocks poorly for the last several years. Value as a whole (defined as low P/Es and low P/Bs) has underperformed the market for the last 3-4 years. I think you have to give the cycle more time to complete to see the full result. The end result may still be the same though.

 

I totally agree with two cities. I think there is a lot of money chasing yield in the markets. And definitely value investing is the flavour of our era. You can see that by the way WEB is almost defied. So there are a lot of individual investors chasing value stocks through these funds.  And these fund manager are smart and original thinkers but they are making a crowded trade. That coupled with the fact that value is out results in the above mediocre results.

 

I've given a some thought to curreen capital. Did you know the fund at last count had 5 (!!!) stocks. There are a lot of guys running small value funds like that I think their trade is crowded also.  That said I think value investing is the right way to go, but you just have to apply it in more original ways. And it being crowded you have to wait longer........

 

How can value investing be crowded and out of favor at the same time?

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Mutual fund value investing seems like a sucker's bet.

 

I agree that a lot of funds aren't great investments. I was just so surprised out how poorly the "Goldfarb 10" performed. I'm assuming a lot of value managers (hedge funds included) haven't done all that well.

 

I'm not saying it would change the thesis any, but it may also help to realize that we've been in a market that has treated value stocks poorly for the last several years. Value as a whole (defined as low P/Es and low P/Bs) has underperformed the market for the last 3-4 years. I think you have to give the cycle more time to complete to see the full result. The end result may still be the same though.

 

I totally agree with two cities. I think there is a lot of money chasing yield in the markets. And definitely value investing is the flavour of our era. You can see that by the way WEB is almost defied. So there are a lot of individual investors chasing value stocks through these funds.  And these fund manager are smart and original thinkers but they are making a crowded trade. That coupled with the fact that value is out results in the above mediocre results.

 

I've given a some thought to curreen capital. Did you know the fund at last count had 5 (!!!) stocks. There are a lot of guys running small value funds like that I think their trade is crowded also.  That said I think value investing is the right way to go, but you just have to apply it in more original ways. And it being crowded you have to wait longer........

 

How can value investing be crowded and out of favor at the same time?

 

Yea, I wasn't so much pointing to the crowding out as much as I have been pointing to the multiple expansion driving markets. Popular names go more popular as multiples expanded even as earnings/revenues have been falling. Traditional value names have been left behind for the last 3-4 years, or more, in returns performance.

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Mutual fund value investing seems like a sucker's bet.

 

I agree that a lot of funds aren't great investments. I was just so surprised out how poorly the "Goldfarb 10" performed. I'm assuming a lot of value managers (hedge funds included) haven't done all that well.

 

I'm not saying it would change the thesis any, but it may also help to realize that we've been in a market that has treated value stocks poorly for the last several years. Value as a whole (defined as low P/Es and low P/Bs) has underperformed the market for the last 3-4 years. I think you have to give the cycle more time to complete to see the full result. The end result may still be the same though.

 

I totally agree with two cities. I think there is a lot of money chasing yield in the markets. And definitely value investing is the flavour of our era. You can see that by the way WEB is almost defied. So there are a lot of individual investors chasing value stocks through these funds.  And these fund manager are smart and original thinkers but they are making a crowded trade. That coupled with the fact that value is out results in the above mediocre results.

 

I've given a some thought to curreen capital. Did you know the fund at last count had 5 (!!!) stocks. There are a lot of guys running small value funds like that I think their trade is crowded also.  That said I think value investing is the right way to go, but you just have to apply it in more original ways. And it being crowded you have to wait longer........

 

How can value investing be crowded and out of favor at the same time?

 

 

 

 

HMMMMMMMMMMMMM, looks like you caught me in a contradiction.  Hey I am formulating these thoughts day by day and my thought process isn't the least bit perfect!  Thanks for the catch.

 

I believe value investing still works. I also feel the hedge funds and value funds are mostly doing the similar things. Their results correlate.  And you can see this in the average hedge fund results mentioned in the media. The average YTD is below the market index and many managers like Einhorn and Ackman are negative. I also took a gander at the 13F's one time and a lot of position and sectors seemed similar.

 

So I think a lot of value funds are suffering a rough patch for whatever reason.  The reason is the same though.

 

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Even if value investing were as simple as buying the dips in large-cap stocks, value mutual fund managers as a group don't seem to be able to accomplish that simple task either. And I don't think it's just the environment - there have been dips to buy.

 

Innerscorecard, I don't think anyone implied that value investing is timing the market. We can consider value investing alone without timing factor by assuming a manager invests 100% at all times.

 

I admit it is very hard for managers to beat the market value investing, but I think that's because a lot of managers are just puppets being pulled by their investors. They will do whatever their clients want to preserve their jobs and almost always clients are thinking short term.

 

I find it very interesting WEB can make statements that others  were afraid to say publicly. WEB in a recent interview at the most powerful women conference said managers make money with 2+20 compensation without the need for the 20% component. The 2% fixed is enough, you manage $20B you get 400M already.

 

 

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Even if value investing were as simple as buying the dips in large-cap stocks, value mutual fund managers as a group don't seem to be able to accomplish that simple task either. And I don't think it's just the environment - there have been dips to buy.

 

Innerscorecard, I don't think anyone implied that value investing is timing the market. We can consider value investing alone without timing factor by assuming a manager invests 100% at all times.

 

I admit it is very hard for managers to beat the market value investing, but I think that's because a lot of managers are just puppets being pulled by their investors. They will do whatever their clients want to preserve their jobs and almost always clients are thinking short term.

 

I find it very interesting WEB can make statements that others  were afraid to say publicly. WEB in a recent interview at the most powerful women conference said managers make money with 2+20 compensation without the need for the 20% component. The 2% fixed is enough, you manage $20B you get 400M already.

 

Well for hedge funds (like other businesses) their focus tends to be making as much money as possible.  And if people are willing to pay 2/20 why not go for it and charge those prices.  I think the bigger fool is all the people who are paying these large fees for subpar performance to support these extravagant hedge fund lifestyles. 

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Even if value investing were as simple as buying the dips in large-cap stocks, value mutual fund managers as a group don't seem to be able to accomplish that simple task either. And I don't think it's just the environment - there have been dips to buy.

 

Innerscorecard, I don't think anyone implied that value investing is timing the market. We can consider value investing alone without timing factor by assuming a manager invests 100% at all times.

 

I admit it is very hard for managers to beat the market value investing, but I think that's because a lot of managers are just puppets being pulled by their investors. They will do whatever their clients want to preserve their jobs and almost always clients are thinking short term.

 

I find it very interesting WEB can make statements that others  were afraid to say publicly. WEB in a recent interview at the most powerful women conference said managers make money with 2+20 compensation without the need for the 20% component. The 2% fixed is enough, you manage $20B you get 400M already.

 

Well for hedge funds (like other businesses) their focus tends to be making as much money as possible.  And if people are willing to pay 2/20 why not go for it and charge those prices.  I think the bigger fool is all the people who are paying these large fees for subpar performance to support these extravagant hedge fund lifestyles.

 

Listened to a story on NPR just yesterday. Employees at many small companies in the USA are getting screwed because the owners of these companies don't seem to know/cannot negotiate lower fees in their 401K plans. One of the companies featured in the NPR story paid 2%, yes, the same as what the hedge funds charge. The key difference is that these employees cannot afford to see upto half of the performance of their life savings being eaten up in fees. Hedge fund companies may be able to afford to lose, but really?

 

Whether it is mutual funds, value mutual funds,  hedge funds, PE, financial advisors...it is the fee stupid. Can everyone overcome the obfuscation that goes on to prevent this simple fact from reaching those that need to know it the most? In some ways, I would like to see Bogle and Buffett turn up the decibel level a bit as they speak about this. Makes for a great legacy for them. It ain't happening in the media.

 

I tell everyone in my circles that in investing it is not about the clever stuff(like knowing or using arcane investing buzzwords or picking stocks) , it is about the fee, some listen but most are numb to it. Won't stop though. This is large scale theft.

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They should just change the limits on traditional IRAs and allow you to contribute the full 23.5k.  I was held captive in one of these plans for 10 year with wells fargo as the administrator.  They didn't charge 2% but it was much higher than vanguard.

 

Another thing I don't understand is why you are allowed to invest in company stock but not other stocks.  I worked at a company in the O&G industry and we had a lot of guys with no investing knowledge to speak of heavily concentrated in company stock.  This is a problem anywhere but especially in a volatile industry like O&G.  Now a lot of people are getting hit with a double whammy of a layoff and a huge reduction in net worth.  I guess the argument is that these people know the company intimately and can invest intelligently in it, or that it will improve their work ethic and morale if they own some?  Whatever the case I'd bet it has been the cause of a lot of financial problems for families.

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Well for hedge funds (like other businesses) their focus tends to be making as much money as possible.  And if people are willing to pay 2/20 why not go for it and charge those prices.  I think the bigger fool is all the people who are paying these large fees for subpar performance to support these extravagant hedge fund lifestyles.

 

Listened to a story on NPR just yesterday. Employees at many small companies in the USA are getting screwed because the owners of these companies don't seem to know/cannot negotiate lower fees in their 401K plans. One of the companies featured in the NPR story paid 2%, yes, the same as what the hedge funds charge. The key difference is that these employees cannot afford to see upto half of the performance of their life savings being eaten up in fees. Hedge fund companies may be able to afford to lose, but really?

 

Whether it is mutual funds, value mutual funds,  hedge funds, PE, financial advisors...it is the fee stupid. Can everyone overcome the obfuscation that goes on to prevent this simple fact from reaching those that need to know it the most? In some ways, I would like to see Bogle and Buffett turn up the decibel level a bit as they speak about this. Makes for a great legacy for them. It ain't happening in the media.

 

I tell everyone in my circles that in investing it is not about the clever stuff(like knowing or using arcane investing buzzwords or picking stocks) , it is about the fee, some listen but most are numb to it. Won't stop though. This is large scale theft.

 

Dashachory: WEB was saying that for his 25% over 6% in his own fund (like Pabrai) he didn't get paid if his clients didn't get paid. But 2/20 funds today aren't incentivized to outperform. In face if I had $20B to manage I would just try to match the market (after 2% fees).

 

Longinvestor: Ya I heard that too. But funny thing is for a brief while I worked for a tiny contractor agency that didn't have a 401k and I pushed for one, and I insisted that it be cheap and the owner found one available to him as a Costo member (from my cloudy recollection). And I believe the employees pay all the fees from their account and the fee was very cheap. So there is a competitive market for offering 401k s. But of course when there is ignorance the ignorant will be gouged. What can we do? Legislate limit on fees? Ya the solution could be to legislate more and more in the financial industry, but that can't be good either.

 

 

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They should just change the limits on traditional IRAs and allow you to contribute the full 23.5k.  I was held captive in one of these plans for 10 year with wells fargo as the administrator.  They didn't charge 2% but it was much higher than vanguard.

 

Another thing I don't understand is why you are allowed to invest in company stock but not other stocks.  I worked at a company in the O&G industry and we had a lot of guys with no investing knowledge to speak of heavily concentrated in company stock.  This is a problem anywhere but especially in a volatile industry like O&G.  Now a lot of people are getting hit with a double whammy of a layoff and a huge reduction in net worth.  I guess the argument is that these people know the company intimately and can invest intelligently in it, or that it will improve their work ethic and morale if they own some?  Whatever the case I'd bet it has been the cause of a lot of financial problems for families.

 

I will bet that the financial industry will fight tooth and nail to keep this from happening.

 

My own personal experience also, my money(my +ER contributions) grew by 1.5x over 15 years in different 401K's; My IRA has more than tripled in the last 10 years. 

 

I tell myself and others that quitting jobs has had the huge benefit to my net worth simply for being able to rollover the 401K's.

 

I would also like the  rules to change so that everyone can roll over their money out of the 401K to IRA's every five years or so, while still employed at the company.

 

401K's are the scandal of our times for wealth transfer (outright stealing). It all goes with nothing more than a mere promise of performance. No proof of performance, no guarantees, no warranties, no claw backs etc.  Just fees. For what?

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Well for hedge funds (like other businesses) their focus tends to be making as much money as possible.  And if people are willing to pay 2/20 why not go for it and charge those prices.  I think the bigger fool is all the people who are paying these large fees for subpar performance to support these extravagant hedge fund lifestyles.

 

Listened to a story on NPR just yesterday. Employees at many small companies in the USA are getting screwed because the owners of these companies don't seem to know/cannot negotiate lower fees in their 401K plans. One of the companies featured in the NPR story paid 2%, yes, the same as what the hedge funds charge. The key difference is that these employees cannot afford to see upto half of the performance of their life savings being eaten up in fees. Hedge fund companies may be able to afford to lose, but really?

 

Whether it is mutual funds, value mutual funds,  hedge funds, PE, financial advisors...it is the fee stupid. Can everyone overcome the obfuscation that goes on to prevent this simple fact from reaching those that need to know it the most? In some ways, I would like to see Bogle and Buffett turn up the decibel level a bit as they speak about this. Makes for a great legacy for them. It ain't happening in the media.

 

I tell everyone in my circles that in investing it is not about the clever stuff(like knowing or using arcane investing buzzwords or picking stocks) , it is about the fee, some listen but most are numb to it. Won't stop though. This is large scale theft.

 

Dashachory: WEB was saying that for his 25% over 6% in his own fund (like Pabrai) he didn't get paid if his clients didn't get paid. But 2/20 funds today aren't incentivized to outperform. In face if I had $20B to manage I would just try to match the market (after 2% fees).

 

Random, I agree with you.  Even if Buffett makes more than the 2+20 guys its because he earned it.  A lot of the guys who charge 2+20 are not beating the market after their fees.  I don't actually think its possible with the amount that they manage. 

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OT 401(k)s

 

I've heard people complaining about 401(k)s and their fees in the past, but I am completely not sure where they are coming from.

 

I've had couple 401(k)s in the past and my wife had couple too. None of them had fees that employee had to pay. All of them had cheap index funds at least (some of them had much more than that, but we probably all agree that cheap index funds are enough). Have I just been lucky to be in right companies/401(k)s?

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OT 401(k)s

 

I've heard people complaining about 401(k)s and their fees in the past, but I am completely not sure where they are coming from.

 

I've had couple 401(k)s in the past and my wife had couple too. None of them had fees that employee had to pay. All of them had cheap index funds at least (some of them had much more than that, but we probably all agree that cheap index funds are enough). Have I just been lucky to be in right companies/401(k)s?

 

I would be willing to make a significant wager that the 401ks you and your wife participated in did in-fact charge significant fees that you never saw.  Consumers (rightly so) have caused a big stir in recent years because they finally figured out that huge fees were being charged within 401k plans without any transparency.  I'm in the business and have seen it first hand.  Most 401k participants wrongly assume they pay no fees.  But what is actually happening is the fees are being charged through a special share class or at the plan level.  The "fee" never hits the participants statement but it is definitely there.  The highest I've seen was a 2% wrap fee being charged to a group of fire fighters by one of the big brokerage firms.  1% was a lot more common up until the last 5 years.  Fortunately for consumers, fee compression is occurring because of more awareness and competition.  Additionally, new regulation has been gradually rolling out forcing plan providers to explicitly state what plan participants are paying on their individual statements (much to the chagrin of those in the financial services business). 

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