Frequently Asked Questions - Communication and Disclosure
No. Our responsibility is first and foremost to do everything we can to increase the odds of meeting each fund’s long-term performance objectives. If we are contemplating removing a manager it is likely that it will play out in one of two ways. It could be that we have already decided to remove them, but have yet to tell them, pending a replacement. In this instance we would not want to make this information public because we don’t believe it is likely to result in an attentive and focused sub-advisor. Alternatively, we may be considering a change pending re-assessment of one or more factors. In that event we would not necessarily want to alert the sub-advisor to that fact since it could impact the way they respond to our concerns, nor would we want to put the sub-advisor through the potential embarrassment of a public announcement. In either instance we believe our shareholders’ interests are better served by deferring any discussion until a change is actually made.
The only exception to publicly announcing that a sub-advisor is under review is when there has been a key and public personnel change (e.g. when David Winters, a Litman Gregory Masters Funds Value sub-advisor, left Franklin Mutual Advisors).
We do not for several reasons. First, we strongly encourage our sub-advisors to focus on long-term performance. We believe that reporting performance could, in certain instances, result in some pressure to focus on short-term performance to the potential detriment of long-term performance. Similarly, because the individual sub-advisor portfolios are concentrated we expect more short-term performance volatility at the sub-advisor level. This could also result in short-term performance pressure. Finally, performance comparisons with the sub-advisor’s own funds may, at times, be awkward for the portfolio managers.
Each month on www.mastersfunds.com we post portfolio characteristics including sector and market-cap weightings as well as other data. Total net assets, the current expense accrual rate and the number of stocks are also reported. Performance reporting is also provided monthly.
Our shareholder reports also disclose the amount of the aggregate personal investment in the Litman Gregory Masters Funds by Litman Gregory personnel and our independent trustees.
Our philosophy seeks to achieve the following:
- Educate shareholders about the funds’ investment philosophy
- Explain expectations honestly and realistically
- Provide useful information that will help shareholders assess the funds’ success in pursuing their objectives
- Always communicate honestly about all relevant developments and expectations