First Eagle Global Fund

Scorecard
4 / 5 Stars
Lipper
5 5 3 4 4
Zacks Investment Research
1 (Strong Buy)
Standard & Poor's
4 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
C- (Hold)

#2 in World Allocation

U.S. News evaluated 121 World 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 13.06 percent over the past year, 8.86 percent over the past three years, 16.00 percent over the past five years, and 10.02 percent over the past decade.

Trailing Returns Updated 03.31.2014
Year to date 2.9%
1 Year 13.1%
3 Years (Annualized) 8.9%
5 Years (Annualized) 16.0%
10 Years (Annualized) 10.0%

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Summary

Most investors won’t recognize all of the names in First Eagle Global fund’s top 25 holdings, but the name of Jean-Marie Eveillard, the fund’s longtime manager, should sound familiar. On the heels of Eveillard’s retirement in early 2009, it will be interesting to see what route the new comanagers take for this fund, which is known for its conservative strategy and low volatility.

As of April 22, 2014, the fund has assets totaling $49.57 billion. Its portfolio consists of large-cap companies from mostly the United States, Western Europe, and Japan.

The managers of this fund are not afraid to tune out conventional wisdom. “We’re very willing to not look like anybody else,” says co-manager Kimball Brooker. He currently favors Japanese stocks, such as manufacturing company Shimano, because he thinks they’re cheap. The fund has returned 13.06 percent over the past year and 8.86 percent over the past three years.

Veteran manager Eveillard saw the beginning of the credit crisis before most. To stabilize the fund, the managers began moving a larger amount of assets into gold and cash before the sharp sell-offs in the stock market in 2008. During that period, the fund’s losses were about half the losses of the MSCI World Index. Generally, about 5 to 10 percent of the fund is allocated to physical gold bullion and stocks of gold mining companies. The fund has returned 16.00 percent over the past five years and 10.02 percent over the past decade.

Investment Strategy

The fund’s conservative stock-picking strategy leads it to hold up well during downturns.

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar says it fills a “core” role.

Management

Jean-Marie Eveillard ran the fund until March 2009. He remains an adviser. He won Morningstar’s International Manager of the Year Award in 2001 and Morningstar’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 for his work on the fund, which began in 1979. Matt McLennan and Abhay Deshpande now comanage the fund.

Fees

First Eagle Global Fund has an expense ratio of 1.13 percent.

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Risk

The fund’s primary risks include a conservative strategy that involves putting a fairly large amount of its assets in gold and cash at times to protect against risk, which can hold it back when the stock market rallies.

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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 2014-04-10

The fund's Value Line Growth Persistence rank, which awards funds that consistently outperform their broad universes, is 4 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 2014-04-10

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 2014-04-10

Morningstar gives this fund a stewardship rating of B on a scale of A to F, saying, “This fund features a lot of positives from a stewardship perspective, including low fees and strong manager ownership. However, concerns about the board and the culture keep it from getting the highest score.”

Morningstar

The Global fund is the oldest fund in the First Eagle Family of five funds.

Morningstar gives this fund a stewardship rating of B on a scale of A to F, saying, “This fund features a lot of positives from a stewardship perspective, including low fees and strong manager ownership. However, concerns about the board and the culture keep it from getting the highest score.”

Morningstar

The Global fund is the oldest fund in the First Eagle Family of five funds.