Our fund outperformed its benchmark during a volatile February.

 

February

Year to Date

Since Inception (Annualized)

(Inception Date: 6/16/2009)

Motley Fool Global Opportunities Fund (FOOLX)

-1.64%

8.49%

13.93%

FTSE Global All Cap Index

-4.38%

0.75%

11.97%

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

Global equities fell in February. Early in the month, global markets dropped between 2% and 5% on several days. The volatility continued throughout the month and finished with a 4.38% decline. Meanwhile, investors responded to strong economic data in the U.S. with the indiscriminate selling of stocks. If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say the U.S. economy is so strong that investors fear rising inflation and aggressive interest rate increases from the Federal Reserve.

The Global Opportunities Fund performed very well in the face of these gyrations, falling considerably less than the global markets did. Year to date, and since inception, the Global Opportunities fund remains nicely ahead of its benchmark.

Once again, one of our best performing holdings was South Korean technology company DuzonBizon, up 14% following January’s 45% increase. Duzon continues to make the transition from a relatively unknown business in the investment community (outside South Korea, anyway) to a more widely known one.

Longtime optical communications equipment maker Infinera also had a good February, up 54%. Infinera had been an underperformer and benefited from exceeding low expectations. We are pleased with the company’s positioning to the secular trend of increased data usage and overall connectivity.  

On the downside was HDFC, a leading bank in India. Its shares fell 11% even though earnings continue to grow above 20% and its net interest margin is healthy. We keep an eye on lending practices for the banks we follow to make sure growth isn’t simply a function of loosening standards. For a few quarters, asset quality has been deteriorating at HDFC, but it doesn’t appear problematic. We’ll keep an eye on things.

Meanwhile, shares of British biotech diagnostic supplier Horizon Discovery fell 23%. CEO Darrin Disley unexpectedly announced he was leaving just days after the company announced disappointing results, and the one-two-punch hit shares hard. We’re working through new details released at the company’s capital-markets day and updating our thinking on this stock.

We didn’t do any trading during the month. We spend a great deal of time understanding what businesses we own and why, which makes staying calm during turbulent times much easier.

The Global Opportunities Fund changed its name from The Independence Fund on December 31, 2017.

Note: The Morningstar RatingTM for funds, or 'star rating', is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. As of 2/28/2018, the Motley Fool Global Opportunities Fund (Investor shares) was rated in the World Large Stock Funds category, receiving a four-star rating among 709 funds over a three-year period and a five-star rating among 585 funds over a five-year period.

Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10- year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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