Manning & Napier World Opportunities Series Fund

Class A (EXWAX)
Scorecard
3 / 5 Stars
Lipper
3 3 2 5 1
Zacks Investment Research
4 (Sell)
Standard & Poor's
3 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
E+ (Sell)

#83 in Foreign Large Blend

U.S. News evaluated 200 Foreign Large Blend Funds. Our list highlights the top-rated funds for long-term investors based on the ratings of leading fund industry researchers.

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Performance

The fund has returned 20.33 percent over the past year, 5.23 percent over the past three years, 11.25 percent over the past five years, and 8.36 percent over the past decade.

Trailing Returns Updated 06.30.2014
Year to date 5.1%
1 Year 20.3%
3 Years (Annualized) 5.2%
5 Years (Annualized) 11.3%
10 Years (Annualized) 8.4%

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Summary

The Manning & Napier World Opportunities fund’s complex stock-picking approach isn’t shackled to a specific group of companies. It can invest in stocks of all sizes and value orientations—both expensive and inexpensive stocks in relation to their earnings. The fund provides investors with diversified exposure to the developed economies of the world, especially Europe.

As of July 03, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $8.40 billion invested in 95 different holdings. Its portfolio consists of foreign and domestic stocks from more than 18 countries, most of which are developed economies.

The fund’s managers seek to provide capital appreciation by buying solid companies that can weather down markets with demonstrated secular earnings growth. This strategy paid off most recently when the fund ranked in the top decile of its category during the market panic of 2008. Morningstar considers it a large-cap blend fund—one of its nine portfolio styles that signifies a leaning toward large, averagely priced companies—even though large-cap blend only applies to 16 percent of fund’s portfolio. The fund’s portfolio is diversified among sectors, and top performers in 2010 included airline Ryanair, oil firm Schlumberger, and auto manufacturer BMW. The fund has returned 20.33 percent over the past year and 5.23 percent over the past three years.

Management combines bottom-up stock picking with top-down economic and industry forecasts. A company might have room to grow, but if Manning & Napier foresees trouble in that industry or sees slow regional growth, the stock will get booted from the list of possible investments. Conversely, a stock that might have the best growth prospects may come to the fund’s attention because it resides in a fast-growing local market. The fund has returned 11.25 percent over the past five years and 8.36 percent over the past decade.

Investment Strategy

The fund follows a bottom-up investing approach—focusing on stocks rather than market conditions—by using discounted cash flow models to pinpoint stocks that are trading at a 25 discount to absolute value. After analysts suggest stocks, a team of economists adds economic forecasts for regions and industries to the equation, which either supports or reduces a stock’s appeal. Management does not consider the size of a company or its portfolio’s similarity to benchmarks in making decisions.

Role in Portfolio

The fund’s all-cap approach, strong long-term returns, and solid bear-market performance make it an ideal core holding.

Management

The fund team has at least nine individuals playing analyst and advisory roles at the fund, and not a single manager has departed since joining the fund. Jeffrey Coons, Michael Magiera, and Marc Tommasi have all been with the fund since 1996. All senior managers have more than $1 million invested in the Manning & Napier funds.

Fees

Manning & Napier World Opportunities Series Fund has an expense ratio of 1.07 percent.

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Risk

If well-developed Western European markets, such as France, Germany, Switzerland, and, outside the continent, the U.K., experience bear markets, the fund will be adversely affected, as those four countries accounted for 43 percent of the portfolio as of Oct. 31, 2010.

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Fund Opinions

The fund's Value Line Overall Rank, a measure of risk-adjusted performance and relative growth in fund returns, is 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst.

Value Line 2014-06-11

The fund's Value Line Growth Persistence rank, which awards funds that consistently outperform their broad universes, is 3 for one year, 4 for five years, and 3 for 10 years. Scores are on a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst.

Value Line 2014-06-11

The fund's Value Line Risk Rank, a measure of volatility, is 4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least volatile and 5 the most.

Value Line 2014-06-11