Auxier Focus Fund

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

U.S. News evaluated 330 Large Value 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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Note: Profile written for different share class.

Performance

The fund has returned 15.43 percent over the past year, 10.95 percent over the past three years, 13.93 percent over the past five years, and 7.40 percent over the past decade.

Trailing Returns Updated 06.30.2014
Year to date 4.2%
1 Year 15.4%
3 Years (Annualized) 11.0%
5 Years (Annualized) 13.9%
10 Years (Annualized) 7.4%

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Summary

The Auxier Focus Fund is a quiet nonconformist that deviates from its peers with a broad mix of assets and a style that staunchly relies on Warren Buffett-style investing for the long term.

As of July 03, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $298.22 million invested in 148 different holdings. Its portfolio consists mostly of U.S. stocks.

The fund's manager, Jeff Auxier, doesn't follow the whims of market fads. He's a bona fide bargain hunter who seeks out undervalued companies with improving fundamentals and a strong track record. "We're old-fashioned business analysts and stock pickers," Auxier says. "We know what we want ahead of time and buy when things are hopelessly out of favor." 

While most of the fund's large-value peers primarily hold stocks, Auxier isn't afraid to dabble in the corporate bond market and would rather keep cash on hand than invest in a less-than-ideal prospect. Although it's grouped with large-value funds, the Auxier Focus Fund most closely resembles a multicap fund with a "go-anywhere" approach. Most funds in its class stick to large- or giant-cap funds, but Auxier branches out into midcap stocks, small-cap stocks and even bonds.

Auxier also identifies China's increasing appetite for consumer goods such as skin-care products, cosmetics, and fragrances as a lucrative emerging market niche where the fund can target low-cost necessity products with steady demand. The fund will be looking to invest in multinational companies with large global footprints to meet that goal. "We typically try to buy and watch for years," Auxier says. The fund has returned 15.43 percent over the past year and 10.95 percent over the past three years.
 
Historically, the fund has held up during tough economic times and posted solid results in more favorable markets as well, again outperforming other typical large-value funds. "The goal is really to protect in the bad markets and match in the good markets," Auxier says. The fund has returned 13.93 percent over the past five years and 7.40 percent over the past decade.

Investment Strategy

Auxier seeks to offer growth opportunities to investors at a reasonable price by focusing on well-managed, attractively-priced companies with solid track records and strong balance sheets. According to its website, an ideal investment for the fund is a "high quality, high return business with exceptional management, selling at wash-out, bargain prices." 

Morningstar lumps Auxier in with large-value mutual funds but says it varies from its peers in several aspects, most notably its above-average holdings in the service and manufacturing sectors.

While the fund focuses on stocks, it doesn't neglect worthwhile short- and long- term bond investments and consistently holds a significant amount of cash.

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar calls this fund a "supporting player."

Management

Jeff Auxier, president and CEO of Auxier Asset Management, has managed the fund since its 1999 inception and relies on extensive daily research to maintain consistent performance. "We are 90% research, 10% trading. Most investors work the opposite," Auxier says on his company's website. And if you're into fund managers who have a stake in the funds they manage, Jeff Auxier is the guy for you. According to his company's website, he invests his entire personal retirement in the Auxier Focus fund. "The big part of this is the leverage involved in other people's money," Auxier says. "If your own money is on the line you think a little different. You approach things much more businesslike." Prior to founding his own company in 1998 and launching the fund in 1999, Auxier managed accounts for high net-worth investors as a broker at Smith Barney.

Fees

Auxier Focus Fund has an expense ratio of 1.25 percent.

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Risk

Investors bet on the success of Jeff Auxier's management style, most notably his willingness to build and maintain atypical sector weights and invest in bonds. Because of its significant bond, value stock, and cash holdings, this fund tends to post solid rather than strong results in big stock market rallies.

Though the fund reduced its fees in early 2010, it remains pricey in comparison to other funds in its class.

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See Also:

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