FPA Crescent Portfolio Fund

Class Inv (FPACX)
Scorecard
5 / 5 Stars
Lipper
5 5 4 4 3
Zacks Investment Research
4 (Sell)
Standard & Poor's
5 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
B- (Buy)

#14 in Moderate Allocation

U.S. News evaluated 247 Moderate Allocation 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 17.58 percent over the past year, 10.72 percent over the past three years, 16.31 percent over the past five years, and 8.44 percent over the past decade.

Trailing Returns Updated 02.28.2014
Year to date 1.2%
1 Year 17.6%
3 Years (Annualized) 10.7%
5 Years (Annualized) 16.3%
10 Years (Annualized) 8.4%

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Summary

In the past, fund manager Steve Romick has described the FPA Crescent fund as a "free-range chicken." No, the fund doesn't exclusively hold organic farming ventures, but it does value the ability to roam free. "We're somewhat 'chicken-ish' because we don't want to lose money and we're free range because we like to go anywhere," Romick says.
 
As of March 05, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $16.12 billion invested in 131 different holdings. Its portfolio usually consists of a sizeable chunk of cash, domestic and foreign value stocks, and corporate and government bonds. 
 
With about 33 percent of assets in cash as of September 2010, Romick says the fund could probably be a little more invested, but that the large cash position doesn't indicate a particularly defensive strategy, as some analysts have suggested. "It's really no more defensively postured than average," Romick says. "It's truly a function of price. We have orders on our desk and when we get to our price we'll be more invested. If we don't, we won't."

In 2009, Romick picked up some high-yield corporate bonds, which buoyed the fund as the issuers rallied. He has since backed off and reduced the fund's stake in that area, but continues to dabble in the distressed-mortgage bond market. According to the fund's annual report, Romick is moving away from "troll[ing] in more obscure waters to find value" and instead focusing on finding good opportunities among blue chips with substantial global footprints. Romick identifies a recent investment in Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest beer company with stakes in big international beer markets such as Brazil and the U.K., as a good example of this new strategy. The fund has returned 17.58 percent over the past year and 10.72 percent over the past three years.
 
Over the long term, Romick has been "cautious at the right times" Morningstar says, which has paid off for the fund during tough economic times. The fund has returned 16.31 percent over the past five years and 8.44 percent over the past decade.

Investment Strategy

Fund manager Steve Romick's investment style has been described as the marriage between extreme caution and opportunism. He tends to sock away the portfolio's assets in cash during rough times, but he also recognizes a good deal when he sees one. Romick is a bargain hunter who likes to jump into areas that may seem undervalued, but he also relies on what he calls "compounders"--established names such as Wal-Mart and Kraft--to provide an element of global diversification. Contrary to other moderate allocation funds that keep portfolio make-ups fairly static, Romick remains fairly flexible and will pick up good prospects across all types of assets.

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar calls this fund a “supporting player.”

Management

Fund manager and FPA senior vice president Steve Romick has been with the Crescent fund since its 1993 inception. Prior to joining FPA, Romick served as chairman of Crescent Management and was a consultant for Kaplan, Nathan & Co. In 2000, Dennis Bryan and Rikard Ekstrand joined the fund as analysts.

Fees

FPA Crescent Portfolio Fund has an expense ratio of 1.14 percent.

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Risk

The wide diversity of assets in this fund shelters it from some volatility, but market fluctuations could still affect performance.

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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 3 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 3 for one year, 3 for five years, and 2 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 2 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

"Over time, our conviction level in Romick has steadily increased. We have consistently seen him display a research edge, a strong investment discipline, a passion for investing, and a shareholder orientation that we believe will enable him and his team to continue to provide superior risk-adjusted returns over the long term."

Litman Gregory 2011-01-01

In the July 2010 edition of Louis Rukeyser’s Mutual Funds, Peter Staas says, "Commentators sometimes chide this fund's skipper for his pessimistic outlook and willingness to go to cash when money-making opportunities are few and far between. But few would question the manager's patience, opportunism and keen eye for value: The fund's track record speaks for itself."

2010-08-05

Morningstar gives this fund a stewardship rating of C on a scale of A to F. “This fund is a fine steward of capital, with a strong corporate culture and clean regulatory history. But we wish its compensation plan was specifically performance-based.”

Morningstar

Morningstar gives this fund a stewardship rating of C on a scale of A to F. “This fund is a fine steward of capital, with a strong corporate culture and clean regulatory history. But we wish its compensation plan was specifically performance-based.”

Morningstar