Alec Lucas: Silver-rated John Hancock Disciplined Value benefits from stable management and consistent execution. Veteran investors Mark Donovan and David Pyle have worked together since 2000 and comanaged the fund since 2006. They make good use of Boston Partners' strong bench of quantitative and fundamental analysts in looking for stocks that combine attractive relative valuations, positive momentum—business as well as share price—and financial health.
The comanagers generally invest with a one- to two-year horizon and pay heed but not homage to the Russell 1000 Value Index in building the fund's roughly 70- to 100-stock portfolio. Indeed, they only overweight stocks in the benchmark and make sizable industry and sector bets when warranted via company-level research.
The fund currently favors banking stocks like Bank of America, which has more than tripled the index's return since management added it in early 2016. That's helped the fund outperform over the past year through January 2018, and its record over that year is in keeping with its long-term record. Fees could be more competitive, and the strategy's size limits its market-cap flexibility, but it is worth a look.