If you ever wanted to buy a fund that follows the Benjamin Graham/Warren Buffett investment principals then these funds will fit the mold. The fund managers of these funds may or may not agree with this assertion, but if ever you wanted to find a fund which holds relatively large positions in few stocks, which is what Warren Buffett did and is doing in his investment career, then look no further. The table below lists some “Focus Funds”. A couple of these “focus funds” hold Berkshire Hathaway as their largest holding. What does it say about the funds and the philosophy of their managers?
As the table illustrates, these “focus funds” hold at least 5% or greater amount of the fund holdings in the single stock. In each case, the top 10 holdings take up as much as or close to 50% of the total fund portfolio.
|Fund Name||Largest Holding||% in top 10 holdings||Performance||Manager Name|
|CGM Focus (CGMFX)||Murphy Oil|
|52.82%||19.5%*||G. Kenneth Heebner|
|Clipper (CFIMX)||Freddie Mac|
|49.50%||14.04%||James H. Gipson|
|Janus Twenty (JAVLX)||UnitedHealth|
Growth Trust (LMGTX)
Value Trust (LMVTX)
|Longleaf Partners (LLPFX)||Vivendi|
|Matthew 25 (MXXVX)||Polaris Industries|
|Oakmark Select (OAKLX)||Washington Mutual|
What common characteristics do you see in these funds?
Here is what I see in them:
- A focused portfolio
- Below average expense ratio (exceptions: Two Legg Mason funds)
- Market beating performance
- Very low turnover; which translates into very good after tax returns
Here are some of the noteworthy things about these funds:
- The Warren Buffett connection. Firholme and Sequoia hold significant amount of money in Berkshire Hathaway. The manager of Legg Mason Growth Trust, Robert Hagstrom, has written a book about Warren Buffett style of investing.
- The Legg Mason Value Trust has beaten the S&P 500 index for 14 consecutive years.
- The Sequoia fund was closed in 1982 and it remains closed for new investors today.
- Some of these funds hold large cash positions today. We have heard from Warren Buffett many times that he is not afraid of holding large cash positions until appropriate opportunity presents itself.
I read market commentaries and shareholder reports of these managers each quarter. The market commentaries and shareholder reports are available on the respective mutual fund website.
I intend to find some other funds with similar “focus” philosophy and add them to this table. If you are aware of some other focus funds then leave a comment at the bottom of this post or send me an email and I will update the table. Please only send the funds with at least 5 years of performance record and at least 100 million of assets under management.
Discloser: I do not own any of the mutual funds mentioned in this post. All disclaimers apply.
* All Performance is data is based on 10-year performance, except these funds with less than 10 year performance record: CGM Focus (inception: 9/3/97), Fairholme (inception: 12/29/99), Matthew 25 (inception:10/16/1995), Oakmark Select (inception: 11/1/96).