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A Global-Stock Fund That Inspires Confidence

Greg Carlson

Greg Carlson: The Medalist of the Week is Oakmark Global Fund (OAKGX). I should mention at the outset that this fund is closed to third-party investors. However, it can still be purchased directly from Oakmark, even for new investors.

Part of the reason it is partially closed is that even though the asset base is fairly small, managers Clyde McGregor and Rob Taylor tend to own a compact portfolio of 40 to 50 stocks, and they will own more mid-cap stocks than the typical world-stock manager.

Now, McGregor and Taylor run this fund much like their Oakmark colleagues in that they are value investors, although perhaps not in the most strictly traditional sense. They don't necessarily load up on those typical value sectors; instead, they are looking for companies of any type, really, that trade at a sharp discount to their estimate of intrinsic value.

So, this fund will hold some stocks that look more like growth companies at times. And in fact, it typically ends up in the blend portion of the Morningstar Style Box.

The fund tends to have a higher-quality tilt than most of its competitors. So, it tends to hold up a little better in downturns--as it did in 2008. The long-term record is very strong, particularly on a risk-adjusted basis. And the managers inspire a lot of confidence.

Clyde McGregor has managed the domestic-equity portion of the portfolio since 2003. He has also managed Oakmark Equity & Income Fund (OAKBX) since its 1995 inception. Rob Taylor runs the non-U.S. side. He also comanages Oakmark International Fund (OAKIX), which earns a Gold rating.

Overall, we think this is a really solid core holding, and it earns a Gold rating.