The US stock market went on a tear in November. Read on to see how our funds performed.

Monthly Fund Results: November 2016

As if we needed another piece of evidence to show the futility of short-term market predictions is futile, the month of November served as another helpful reminder.. After heading into the election on a downward slide, the US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, went on an amazing run, ending the month up 3.4%. We're happy to report that The Great America Fund joined in on this rally in domestic stocks. On the other hand, emerging markets had a much more painful experience, and the Epic Voyage Fund responded similarly.

Here's how each fund performed during the month. 



Since Inception (Annualized)

The Motley Fool Independence Fund (FOOLX)



FTSE Global All Cap Index



MSCI World Index



For a standardized list of performance for the Independence Fund, please click here. For fund holdings, please click here.

As is typical for us, we didn’t do a lot of trading in the fund last month. In hte Independence Fund, we closed out of our position in Boston Beer, the company that brews Samuel Adams, and in its place we added Align Technology and Starbucks. We continue to like beer, including Sam Adams, but for several quarters in a row, Boston Beer management has been navigating a really tough competitive environment that has been pressuring the company’s results. We decided we’d rather own two businesses in Align Technology and Starbucks that are doing fantastically well. Align Technology makes the Invisalign clear aligners that are an alternative to metal braces for teeth straightening. Starbucks, of course, sells coffee.

Top performers for the month were Ionis Pharmaceuticals (up 68.4%), Anthem (up 17.0%), and Texas Roadhouse (up 15.7%). Ionis’ performance is due to high expectations that the FDA will soon approve its drug Spinraza for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, a horrific disease that is the leading genetic cause of death in infants. Our three worst performing stocks in the fund were TripAdvisor (down 25.1%), Multiplus (down 23.4%), and Nippon Indosari (down 14.5%). TripAdvisor is in the middle of a rocky business-model transition toward earning revenue from booking flights and hotels instead of from advertising. The stock sold off when the company reported weaker-than-expected revenue for the third quarter.



Since Inception (Annualized)

The Motley Fool Great America Fund (TMFGX)



Russell Midcap Index



Russell 2000 Index



For a standardized list of performance for the Great America Fund, please click here. For fund holdings, please click here.

We did not add any new companies to the Great America fund last month. We sold out of Tandem Diabetes and TripAdvisor because the businesses were not performing up to the expectations we had when we bought them.

The best performing stocks in the fund were the aforementioned Ionis Pharmaceuticals, XPO Logistics (up 35.2%), and Towne Bank (up 30.0%). Laggards this month include Tandem Diabetes (down 62.8%), TripAdvisor, and SBA Communications (down 12.6%). Insulin-pump maker Tandem Diabetes dramatically pulled down its full-year revenue guidance and floated that it was thinking about raising capital within the next year. The market didn’t react well to that double-whammy.




Since Inception (Annualized)

The Motley Fool Epic Voyage Fund (TMFEX)



FTSE Global All Cap ex-US Index



FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index



Russell Global ex-US Index



For a standardized list of performance for the Epic Voyage Fund, please click here. For fund holdings, please click here.

We did not add any new companies to the Epic Voyage fund last month. We sold out of Shimano, a Japanese athletic-equipment company, to redeploy the funds to some of our existing emerging-market holdings that we believe are more attractive.

The top three performing stocks last month were Almarai (up 12.9%), Georgia Healthcare Group (up 5.9%), and Sberbank (up 5.8%). The largest decliners were Multiplus, Coca-Cola Icecek (down 15.4%), and Nippon Indosari.

Closing out 2016

If I had made a prediction about how stocks were going to perform in November, I would have been unbelievably wrong. You’ll also not get a prediction from me about how stocks will perform in 2017. Sure, there are a lot of interesting changes that may happen with corporate tax rates and debt interest deductibility that will affect corporate profits and valuations. We do not, however, invest by trying to predict variables like that. Instead, you can count on us to stick to our investment philosophy of buying good businesses that are getting better and paying a fair price for them.

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