The Akre Focus Fund was up 1.64% for Retail shares and 1.75% for Institutional shares vs. 1.35% for the S&P 500 Total Return for the calendar quarter ending March 31, 2016. We wrote in the year-end letter about the negative experience the fund had with Colfax (NYSE:CFX) in 2015. Our experience has been more favorable so far in 2016, but we caution that we are not out of the woods yet. The outlook for industrial end-markets around the world, especially in emerging markets, remains uncertain. Nonetheless, some of the pessimism has eased and the stock market has responded accordingly with the share price smartly off the lows of earlier this year. Our original thesis concerning the company and its founding sponsors, Mitchell and Steven Rales, remains unchanged!
You know well that we shy away from making any predictions concerning the market, the economy, and, in this year, political contests. We have no record of having had valuable insights in any of these arenas, and we therefore stay away. Conversely, we do have a substantial track record of identifying and owning outstanding businesses. We contend that our process of identifying and owning such superior businesses at attractive prices was a key ingredient in outperforming the benchmark since the fund's inception. Continue Reading »