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Winters: Meltdown Crushed Some of the Best Companies

Jason Stipp

Jason Stipp: I am Jason Stipp with Morningstar reporting from the 2009 Morningstar Investment Conference. I am here with David Winters. He is the manager of Wintergreen Funds, a world stock fund. Thanks for joining me, David.

David Winters: Great to be here, Jason.

Stipp: First question for you: last year at the conference, you had mentioned that you were seeing, overall, more opportunities overseas than you were domestically. A lot has changed since last year obviously. A lot of new domestic policies have come out; just wondering what your thoughts on that divide are right now.

Winters: Well, the whole world has melted down. So it has been a situation, Jason, where we have been able to find at Wintergreen opportunities domestically and internationally. The irony is here in the U.S., you have been able to find some of the best companies that just got crushed, as you are well aware. We are passport agnostic, but we found it is even easier to find things to do here in the States.

Stipp: Do you think any of the domestic policies that have come out in the last year may change the situation on where you are expecting to find value going forward, given all of the programs that the Treasury has started up and what the implications of those may be?

Winters: I think that the Treasury stepping in, Jason, if they had not, we would have probably truly had Armageddon. So I think there are a lot of examples of companies that should benefit from the fact that the US is stabilizing and getting better. An example of that, we bought Goldman Sachs actually before Berkshire bought Goldman Sachs, and we kind of bought it all the way down. Goldman, we think, will be a huge beneficiary in the long run, and the fact that it is domiciled here helps.

So, our longer term concern is inflation, Jason, but there is a lot to do in the States, and there is a lot to do internationally.