Dodge & Cox Stock Fund

Class No Load (DODGX)
Scorecard
4 / 5 Stars
Lipper
5 5 4 5 3
Zacks Investment Research
2 (Buy)
Standard & Poor's
5 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
A (Buy)

#4 in Large Value

U.S. News evaluated 326 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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Performance

The fund’s one-year return is 32.86 percent. It has returned 15.88 percent over the past three years, 25.93 percent over the past five years, and 7.44 percent over the past decade.

Trailing Returns Updated 02.28.2014
Year to date 1.1%
1 Year 32.9%
3 Years (Annualized) 15.9%
5 Years (Annualized) 25.9%
10 Years (Annualized) 7.4%

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Summary

As they say, you win some and lose some. The value-oriented Dodge & Cox Stock fund lost big during the downturn after investing in many of the financial firms that spawned the recession. Still, the fund is sticking to a time-honed strategy that has paid off handsomely over the years.

As of March 05, 2014, the fund has assets totaling $52.40 billion. Its portfolio consists primarily of stocks with the option to invest up to 30 percent in holdings outside the United States.

2008 was the worst year on record for the fund in its 40-plus years. More recently, comebacks staged by companies such as banking survivor Wells Fargo, which acquired Wachovia, and Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, in the now much more lively energy sector, have set the fund back on track. Management is also loading up in the healthcare sector with names like Novartis, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. The fund has returned 32.86 percent over the past year and 15.88 percent over the past three years.

Dodge & Cox’s strategy has remained constant over the years, with an eye toward value in the healthcare, tech, and financial sectors that the fund says “provide a necessary long-term role in the global economy.” The fund currently keeps roughly 20 percent of its total assets in companies based outside the United States.

According to Morningstar, as of mid-September 2010, investors had pulled $8.7 billion from the fund since 2007. However, Morningstar analyst Dan Culloton still stands by the fund saying it "has enduring advantages that could make the coming years much better than the recent ones." The fund has returned 25.93 percent over the past five years and 7.44 percent over the past decade.

Investment Strategy

“Valuation winds up playing an important role in our process,” says Dodge & Cox’s chief investment officer, Charles Pohl. “So a lot of times, you’ll see us buying things that are currently out of favor.” The fund managers focus on share price valuations and company fundamentals to find value-oriented investments.

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar gives the fund a “core” role in the portfolio.

Management

Dodge & Cox’s former chairman, Harry Hagey, retired in early 2007 after 14 years at the helm. His replacement, John Gunn, served as the company’s chief investment officer for 25 years before taking the chair position. The fund is managed by a nine-member investment policy committee.

Fees

Dodge & Cox Stock Fund has an expense ratio of 0.52 percent.

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Risk

The fund can be volatile at times, depending on the beat of the stock markets. The fund is also known for having more foreign exposure than most of its peers.

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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 2 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst.

Value Line 2014-03-12

The fund's Value Line Growth Persistence rank, which awards funds that consistently outperform their broad universes, is 2 for one year, 2 for five years, and 4 for 10 years. Scores are on a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst.

Value Line 2014-03-12

The fund's Value Line Risk Rank, a measure of volatility, is 3 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the least volatile and 5 the most.

Value Line 2014-03-12

The fund appears on the 2011 “Kiplinger 25” list of the best no-load mutual funds.

Kiplinger 25 2011-04-13