International Fund

Litman Gregory Masters International Fund MSILX, MNILX

Overview

Litman Gregory Masters International Fund invests in foreign stocks and seeks superior long-term performance relative to its peer group of international stock funds. Each of the six managers separately runs a portion of the portfolio composed of his highest conviction stocks. The fund may invest in emerging markets, although it is expected that exposure to developed markets will be significantly greater. Although each manager runs a concentrated portfolio of no fewer than 8 or more than 15 of his favorite ideas, the fund as a whole is diversified by industry, country and stocks.

Typically the fund holds between 48 and 90 securities. The fund seeks to maintain risk in line with its peer group of international stock funds.

This fund is appropriate for investors who:

  • Want a core international equity investment with some exposure to emerging markets and small companies
  • Seek strong market-cycle performance but are less concerned about short-term returns
  • Understand the risks associated with international investing

Evermore Global Advisors

 
Marcus
David
Marcus

Target Manager Allocation: 16.67%
Size of Company: All sizes
Stock-Picking Style: Value

Read the full manager bio

David Marcus and his team employ a deep-value, opportunistic investment approach. They look for special situations around the globe and will opportunistically invest in companies that trade at steep discounts to their intrinsic values and where catalysts (e.g., management changes, asset sales, spin-offs, mergers, acquisitions, liquidations, shareholder activism, etc.) exist to unlock value for shareholders. This special-situations approach often leads Marcus to complex, under-researched and misunderstood areas of the market. On an exceptional basis, Marcus will also invest in post-distressed situations and merger arbitrage.

Ideas are generated through a number of different avenues. Over the years Marcus has built a strong network of relationships with families and individuals that control business, management teams, regional bankers and brokers, and other institutional investors. He leverages this network for new ideas and to cross-check data points. Marcus also screens for companies that may be undergoing strategic change by performing key word searches for phrases like “spin-offs,” “restructurings,” “management changes,” “mergers and acquisitions,” etc.

Read more
Read about our due diligence on Marcus

 

Harris Associates

 
Langerman
David
Herro

Target Manager Allocation: 16.67%
Size of Company: All sizes, but mostly large and mid-sized companies
Stock-Picking Style: Value

Read the full manager bio

Herro employs Harris' value investment philosophy and process to manage his portion of the fund's assets. This investment philosophy is based upon the belief that, over time, a company's stock price converges with the company's intrinsic or true business value. By "true business value," Harris means an estimate of the price a knowledgeable buyer would pay to acquire the entire business. In making its investment decisions, Harris uses a "bottom-up" approach focused on individual companies, rather than focusing on specific economic factors or specific industries.

The chief consideration in the selection of stocks is the size of the discount of a company's stock price compared to the company's perceived true business value.

Read more

 

Lazard Asset Management

 
Little
Mark
Little

Target Manager Allocation: 16.67%
Size of Company: All sizes
Stock-Picking Style: Blend/Relative Value

Read the full manager bio

Little and the portfolio management team believe a company that can improve and/or sustain its profitability at a relatively high level can compound returns at an attractive rate. At the same time, they believe in buying such companies trading at discounts relative to their profitability prospects.

Generally, Lazard categorizes any stock that is bought into one or more of the following three categories:

  • Compounders: These are companies that the team think can sustain relatively high levels of profitability and that company management may enhance shareholder returns through share buybacks and dividend payments. Lazard will purchase these companies if they believe they can compound total return, i.e., earnings growth, dividends, and share buy backs, at a relatively high rate over the long term and if they are reasonably priced in relation to their profitability prospects.

Read more
Read about our due diligence on Little

 

Northern Cross

 
Appleby
Howard
Appleby
Ducrest
Jean-Francois
Ducrest
LaTorre
Jim
LaTorre

Target Manager Allocation: 16.67%
Size of Company: All sizes, but mostly large- and mid-sized
Stock-Picking Style: Blend

Read the full manager bio

The team’s investment philosophy and process are characterized by:

  • An in-depth understanding of a company and its industry leads to a long investment time horizon (3-5+ years) and results in low portfolio turnove
  • Analysis of the attractiveness of countries and industries from a top-down perspective, though stocks are selected on a bottom-up basis Stock selection, not top-down views, determines industry and country weightings
  • Low portfolio turnover minimizes transaction and market-impact costs
  • An emphasis on quality “blue chip” companies with long-term catalysts that should lead to expanding profit margins
  • A willingness to think independently and deviate significantly from benchmark industry and country weightings
  • Concentration in their best ideas that they believe have the most attractive risk/reward potential

Read more

 

Pictet

 
Paolini
Fabio
Paolini
Beneche
Benjamin
Beneche

Target Manager Allocation: 16.67%
Size of Company: All sizes
Stock-Picking Style: Blend

Read the full manager bio

The investment team approaches equity investment from the perspective of a fractional owner of an underlying business. Consequently, the focus is on the long‐term growth prospects for the business. They believe that each business has an intrinsic value based on its future ability to generate positive cash returns. They therefore structure the research to identify enduring business models that have the capacity to generate sustainable cash returns above their cost of capital.

They believe that the value of compounding high returns on capital over long time periods is often underestimated by the market. Also they believe that a portfolio of growing companies with the potential to create value, and which trade at a discount to their intrinsic value, will outperform across market cycles. They seek to identify and hold stocks with these characteristics regardless of their sector or region. This approach confers on the portfolio a style that is neither wholly “growth” nor wholly “value,” but “growth at a reasonable price.”

Read more
Read about our due diligence on Paolini and Beneche

 

Thornburg Investment Management

 
Walden
Vinson
Walden

Target Manager Allocation: 16.67%
Size of Company: All sizes
Stock-Picking Style: Eclectic - may invest in traditional value stocks or growth stocks

Read the full manager bio

Walden believes that a bottom-up approach to investing in undervalued securities will generate above-average returns with below-market risk. Thornburg's idea of value centers on their assessment of the intrinsic worth of an investment. The goal is to uncover promising companies with sound business fundamentals at a time when their intrinsic value is not fully recognized by the marketplace.

The Thornburg team's initial search for investment ideas involves the use of quantitative screens as well as other sources. Starting with the international equity universe, the team screens Thornburg's databases for companies that appear attractive across a number of value parameters. The team looks for securities that have low price-to-earnings, low price-to-cash flow, and low price-to-book ratios. Companies ranging from small-cap to large-cap are considered. Additionally, screens are employed in order to identify stocks where business prospects may be improving. The typical screen generates a list exceeding 50 stocks from which only a few may be selected for further research.
Read more

 

Monthly and Quarterly Performance as of 09/30/2017

        Average Annual Total Return
Monthly and Quarterly Performance as of 09/30/2017 One Month Year to Date 12 Month Total Return 3 Year Average 5 Year Average 10 Year Average Since Inception
Litman Gregory Masters International Fund
(Institutional Class 12/1/97) MSILX
2.72% 20.38% 18.88% 2.73% 6.87% 0.75% 7.59%
MSCI ACWI ex U.S. Index
1.86% 21.13% 19.61% 4.70% 6.97% 1.27% 5.57%
MSCI EAFE Index
2.49% 19.96% 19.08% 5.03% 8.38% 1.34% 5.12%
Russell Global ex-U.S. Large Cap Index
1.94% 21.84% 20.24% 5.52% 7.87% 2.09% 6.24%
Morningstar Foreign Large Blend Category Average
2.05% 20.65% 17.91% 4.98% 7.57% 0.92% 4.57%
               
Litman Gregory Masters Funds International Fund
(Investor Class 4/30/09) MNILX
2.68% 20.16% 18.53% 2.47% 6.60% n/a 8.22%
MSCI ACWI ex U.S. Index
1.86% 21.12% 19.61% 4.70% 6.97% n/a 9.01%
MSCI EAFE Index
2.49% 19.94% 19.08% 5.03% 8.38% n/a 9.31%
Russell Global ex-U.S. Large Cap Index
1.94% 21.84% 20.24% 5.52% 7.87% n/a 9.98%
Morningstar Foreign Large Blend Category Average
2.05% 20.65% 17.91% 4.98% 7.57% n/a 9.00%

Expense Ratios

  Gross Expense Ratio* Net Expense Ratio**
Litman Gregory Masters International Fund (Institutional Class) 1.29% 1.06%
Litman Gregory Masters Funds International Fund (Investor Class) 1.54% 1.31%

 

* The gross and net expense ratios can be found in the most recent Summary Prospectus (4/30/2017).

** The Advisor is contractually obligated to waive management fees through April 30, 2018.

Source: MSCI. Neither MSCI nor any other party involved in or related to compiling, computing, or creating the MSCI data makes any express or implied warranties or representations with respect to such data (or the results to be obtained by the use thereof), and all such parties hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any of such data. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall MSCI, any of its affiliates, or any third party involved in or related to compiling, computing, or creating the data have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential, or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages. No further distribution or dissemination of the MSCI data is permitted without MSCI’s express written consent. Source note: Returns prior to 1999 are the MSCI ACWI ex-US GR index. Returns from 1999 onwards are MSCI ACWI ex-US NR index.

Performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted.

Prior to April 30, 2009, the Fund's Institutional Class was an unnamed share class. The Fund's Investor Class commenced operations on April 30, 2009. Because the fees and expenses vary between classes, performance will vary with respect to each class.

Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur fees and cannot be invested in directly. Click here for index definitions.

Calendar Year Performance

  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Litman Gregory Masters International (Institutional Class)
-1.20%a
11.74%
75.01%
-5.01%
-17.94%
-14.34%
38.86%
14.37%
23.72%
23.61%
MSCI ACWI ex U.S. Index
n/a
14.46%
30.91%
-15.09%
-19.50%
-14.67%
41.41%
21.36%
17.11%
27.16%
MSCI EAFE Index
0.90%a
20.33%
27.30%
-13.96%
-21.21%
-15.66%
39.17%
20.70%
14.01%
26.86%
Russell Global ex-U.S. Large Cap Index
n/a
16.28%
31.70%
-13.86%
-20.20%
-16.13%
41.82%
21.46%
16.74%
27.51%
Morningstar Foreign Large Blend Category Average 0.68%a 12.57% 39.00% -16.58% -21.42% -16.55% 33.38% 17.43% 14.82% 24.75%

 

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Litman Gregory Masters International (Institutional Class)
20.75%
-45.47%
38.54%
15.86%
-16.24%
19.96%
21.47%
-2.72%
-5.52%
-4.61%
MSCI ACWI ex U.S. Index
17.12%
-45.24%
42.14%
11.60%
-13.32%
17.40%
15.80%
-3.43%
-5.24%
4.49%
MSCI EAFE Index
11.63%
-43.06%
32.45%
8.21%
-11.75%
17.92%
23.29%
-4.50%
-0.40%
1.00%
Russell Global ex-U.S. Large Cap Index
17.79%
-45.93%
44.00%
12.55%
-13.36%
17.64%
16.70%
-3.06%
-4.53%
4.84%
Morningstar Foreign Large Blend Category Average 12.80% -44.07% 30.92% 10.26% -13.91% 18.30% 19.32% 5.15% -1.61% 0.66%

a Performance from 12/1/97-12/31/97

Best/Worst Rolling Return Periods as of 6/30/2017

Performance Period MSILX Russell Global ex-U.S.
Large-Cap Index
Number of Periods
 Best Rolling 12-Mo. Period   88.4% 62.8% 224
 Worst Rolling 12-Mo. Period   -49.7% -51.5% 224
 Best Rolling 36-Mo. Period   136.9% 135.2% 200
 Worst Rolling 36-Mo. Period   -47.4% -46.8% 200
 Best Rolling 60-Mo. Period   222.1% 216.2% 176
 Worst Rolling 60-Mo. Period   -25.1% -29.3% 176
 Percent Negative 12-Mo. Rolling   34.4% 34.8% 224
 Percent Negative 36-Mo. Rolling   32.5% 36.5% 200
 Percent Negative 60-Mo. Rolling   13.6% 22.7% 176
 Percent Beat Benchmark 12-Mo.   57.6% N/A 224
 Percent Beat Benchmark 36-Mo.   66.0% N/A 197
 Percent Beat Benchmark 60-Mo.   77.8% N/A 176

The first rolling 12 month-period is reached 12 months after each fund's inception (based on month-end dates). The starting and ending periods then "roll" forward one month at a time to comprise a new 12-month period. The first rolling three-year period is reached 36 months after each fund's inception (based on month-end dates). The starting and ending periods then "roll" forward one month at a time to comprise a new 36-month period. The first rolling five-year period is reached 60 months after each fund's inception (based on month-end dates). The starting and ending periods then "roll" forward one month at a time to comprise a new 60-month period.

Fund Facts

Inception Date:  12/1/1997
Cusip Number:  53700T 207
Ticker Symbol:  MSILX
  MSTRSELTINT
Minimum Investment: $100,000 ($5,000 retirement accounts)
Annual Expenses: 1.29% gross; 1.06% net (as of 4/30/2017)*
Sales Loads:  None
12B-1 Fees:  None
  (800) 960-0188

While the fund is no-load, management and other expenses still apply.

*The Advisor is contractually obligated to waive management fees through April 30, 2018.

Portfolio Holdings

  • To view our most recent portfolio holdings, please click here.

Fund holdings and/or sector allocations are subject to change at any time and are not recommendations to buy or sell any security.

Portfolio Composition (as of 6.30.17)

Market Capitalization
Small-Cap: < $5.5 Billion
Mid-Cap: $5.5 - $15 Billion
Large-Cap: > $15 Billion

Developed vs. Emerging Markets (as of 6.30.17)

Market Capitalization
Developed Small: < $5.5 Billion
Developed Large/Mid: > $5.5 Billion

Regional Allocation vs. MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. Index (as of 6.30.17)

Fund holdings and/or sector allocations are subject to change at any time and are not recommendations to buy or sell any security.

Please click here for index definitions.

Sector Allocation vs. MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. Index (as of 6.30.17)

Fund holdings and/or sector allocations are subject to change at any time and are not recommendations to buy or sell any security.

*Sectors reflect 12/31/04 change to Thomson One GICS - Telecom & Utilities separated; Industrials & Materials separated.

Geographic Distribution (as of 6.30.17)

Country % Net Assets
Australia 0.96%
Belgium 3.51%
Bermuda 2.78%
China* 2.58%
Denmark 3.25%
Finland 1.77%
France 13.51%
Germany 6.78%
Greece* 1.00%
Hong Kong 2.54%
Israel 2.59%
Italy 1.40%
Japan 7.37%
Korea, Republic of* 0.83%
Macau 1.32%
Mexico* 0.81%
Monaco 0.81%
Netherlands 10.80%
Norway 0.90%
Philippines* 0.07%
Spain 4.30%
Switzerland 5.17%
Taiwan* 1.08%
United Kingdom 17.48%
United States 6.35%
Cash 2.73%
  100%

* Emerging markets consist of Arab Emirates, Argentina, Brazil, China, Greece, India, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey and total 5.55% of the portfolio. Due to rounding totals may not always equal 100%.

Litman Gregory International Fund Commentary, 2nd Quarter 2017

The fund bested both its benchmarks but slightly underperformed its peer group in the second quarter. It remains overweight to the consumer discretionary sector and three of its individual holdings in that sector were among the top 10 positive contributors. ›› Read More

Sub-Advisor Q&A

We talk with International Fund sub-advisor David Herro about his firm’s value investing process, their continued conviction in the attractiveness of European financials, and the hurdles they set when considering emerging-markets stocks. ›› Read More

We talk with International Fund sub-advisor Mark Little about how he accesses new ideas, the three types of stocks he looks for, and what, if any, impact he's seeing from shorter-term events such as the strong dollar and oil price decline. ›› Read More

 


 

Performance quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the funds may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. To obtain the performance of the funds as of the most recently completed calendar month, please click www.mastersfunds.com. Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur fees, and cannot be invested in directly.