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Investing Specialists

Will These Ultimate Stock-Picker Stocks Outperform?

A deep dive into Davis NY Venture's portfolio construction and top holdings.

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By Swami Shanmugasundaram | Stock Analyst

Aside from sifting through the holdings, purchases, and sales of our top managers, members of The Ultimate Stock-Pickers Team keep tabs on the commentary put forth by these managers to get a better feel for the thinking that went into their buy, sell or hold decisions. While some managers--like  Oak Value (OAKVX) fund--provide detailed updates about their recent purchases and sales, as well as additional commentary about their top holdings, many managers prefer to hold their cards closer to their vests. In some of these cases, we're able to augment the lack of direct portfolio commentary by our top managers through other means--such as interviews with Morningstar's stock and fund analysts--but even then we're often times missing some aspect that would help us to better understand the decision to buy, sell or hold a particular security (similar to the issues we came across last time around when we dug deeper into Bruce Berkowitz's big sale of  Pfizer (PFE) from his  Fairholme (FAIRX) fund during the fourth quarter of 2009).

We're encouraged when managers go above and beyond to provide us with an in-depth look at how they not only think about their stock portfolios but the securities they've been buying, selling or holding. In that regard, we've been big fans of the work done by Chris Davis and Ken Feinberg, who manage the  Davis NY Venture (NYVTX) fund. They regularly provide investors with updates on the markets and the moves that they're been making within their own fund. That's not to say that they're short-term oriented. The managers continue to believe that the keys to outperforming the market are "to think long-term rather than get caught up in short-term cycles, to exercise a highly selective and disciplined approach with respect to business quality and valuation, and to remain focused on in-depth, bottom-up research."

The Morningstar Ultimate Stock-Pickers Team does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.