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Which Gurus Had the Best Overall Performances Since the Financial Crisis?

March 30, 2012 | About:
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gurufocus

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GuruFocus has summarized the performances of Gurus for the last four years (2008-2011). For the four years, the S&P 500 returned a negative 8.3%. For each Guru we selected his flagship fund or one of his funds with a long history. The performance numbers are in the table below:

Guru Fund 2011 2010 2009 2008 Cumulative Last 4 Years
Donald Yacktman The Yacktman Fund (YACKX) 7.3 12.64 59.31 -26.05 42.4%
Jean-Marie Eveillard First Eagle Global Fund (SGENX) -0.19 17.58 29.99 -21.06 20.4%
Chuck Royce Premier Fund (RYPRX) -0.86 26.46 33.3 -28.3 19.8%
Steven Romick FPA Crescent Fund 3.02 12 28.4 -20.6 17.6%
Edward Owens Vanguard Healthcare Fund 11.45 6.16 20.96 -18.45 16.7%
Westport Asset Management Westport Fund 3.45 20.36 32.26 -30.28 14.8%
Ruane Cunniff Sequoia Fund 13.19 19.5 15.38 -27.03 13.9%
Bill Nygren Oakmark Fund 1.82 12.18 44.77 -32.61 11.4%
Jeff Auxier Auxier Focus Fund 5.57 10.1 24.76 -24.52 9.5%
Diamond Hill Capital Small Cap Fund -7.17 22.99 28.92 -25.99 8.9%
Robert Rodriguez FPA Capital Fund -0.9 17.72 40.19 -34.79 6.6%
Wallace Weitz Weitz Partners Fund 2.2 19.9 27.6 -32 6.3%
James Barrow Vanguard Selected Value Fund 0.82 19.44 36.26 -35.49 5.9%
Tweedy Browne Tweedy Browne Value Fund -1.75 10.51 27.6 -24 5.3%
RS Investment Management RS Partners Fund -7.59 27.96 43.67 -38.62 4.3%
Chuck Akre Akre Capital Private Asset Man 11.53 18.5 37.54 -42.92 3.8%
Bill Frels Mairs & Power Growth Fund 0.74 17.4 22.52 -28.51 3.6%
PRIMECAP Management Vanguard Primcap Fund 0 12.89 34.45 -32.41 2.6%
Mario Gabelli Asset Fund Class AAA -0.43 23.07 30.54 -37.2 0.5%
David Winters Wintergreen Fund 0.57 21.09 32.78 -39.05 -1.4%
Jeremy Grantham GMO US Intrin.Val. III (GMVUX) 9.82 11.59 20.5 -33.8 -2.2%
John Rogers Ariel Fund -11.34 25.97 63.42 -48.25 -5.5%
John Hussman Hussman Strategic Growth Fund 1.64 -3.62 4.63 -9.02 -6.7%
Arnold Van Den Berg CM Value I Composite 0.12 12.06 24.15 -33.54 -7.4%
Brian Rogers T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fu -0.72 15.15 25.62 -35.75 -7.7%
S&P 500 0 15.1 26.5 -37 -8.3%
Richard Aster Jr Meridian Value Fund -2.39 18.23 21.4 -34.73 -8.6%
Robert Olstein Olstein All Cap Value Fund 0 16.17 37.01 -43.8 -10.5%
Francis Chou Chou Associates Fund -18.8 19.21 29.7 -29.3 -11.2%
Mason Hawkins Longleaf Partners Fund -2.85 17.89 53.6 -50.6 -13.1%
Mark Hillman Focused Advantage Equity Compo -5.15 14.18 42.45 -43.75 -13.2%
Ken Fisher Purisima Total Return (PURIX) -3.16 14.74 36.18 -42.95 -13.7%
John Buckingham Al Frank Fund -4.6 18.61 35.02 -43.6 -13.8%
NWQ Managers Nuveen Multi-Manager Large-Cap -1.45 11.11 22.39 -36.16 -14.4%
Arnold Schneider Schneider Small Cap Value Fund -23.99 32.2 54.04 -45 -14.9%
Richard Snow All Cap Equity Composite -5.53 14.45 41.2 -44.25 -14.9%
John Keeley Small Cap Value Fund -7.29 25.98 21.67 -40.18 -15.0%
Ron Baron Baron Partners Fund -5.74 31.52 28.2 -46.67 -15.2%
Bruce Berkowitz Fairholme Fund (FAIRX) -32.42 25.5 39.01 -29.7 -17.1%
David Williams Columbia Value and Restructuri -11.02 19.42 46.9 -47.4 -17.9%
HOTCHKIS & WILEY Large Cap Value Fund -4.25 19.85 34.32 -47 -18.3%
Dodge & Cox Dodge & Cox Stock FUND -4.08 13.48 31.27 -43.41 -19.1%
Ronald Muhlenkamp Muhlenkamp  Fund -4.74 6.14 31.49 -40.39 -20.7%
Chris Davis Davis Financial Fund -9.02 11.25 39.11 -45.62 -23.4%
Martin Whitman Third Avenue Value Fund -20.86 13.9 44.5 -45.6 -29.1%
Third Avenue Management Third Avenue Value Fund -20.86 13.9 44.5 -45.6 -29.1%
Charles Brandes U. S. Value Equity -1.24 15.95 34.98 -55.44 -31.1%
Murray Stahl Horizon Asset - Core Value -11.2 12.9 28.5 -56.5 -44.0%
Ken Heebner CGM Focus Fund -26.3 16 10.5 -48.2 -51.1%


Among the 48 Gurus in the table, 25 or just over half outperformed the S&P 500 over the past four years. The other half underperformed the market.

The best performer among all is Don Yacktman’s Yacktman Fund, which gained 42% over the past four years and outperformed the market by 50% of net gain. The second best performing fund is First Eagle Global Fund, which was managed by legendary Jean-Marie Eveillard, and now by his protégé Matthew McLennan. The fund gained a cumulative return of 20.4%. Chuck Royce’s Premier Fund (RTPRX), Steven Romick’s FPA crescent Fund, and Edward Owens’ Vanguard healthcare fund are the next three best performing funds. All of them outperformed the market by more than 20% over the past four years.

The bottom performing five funds are Ken Heebner’s CGM Focus Fund (lost 51.1%), Horizon Kinetics’ Core Value (lost 44%), Brandes Investments’ U.S. Value Equity (lost 31%), Third Avenue Value Fund (lost 29%) and Davis Financial Fund (lost 23.4%).

If we compare the performances of the top five funds and the bottom five funds, the best difference in performances occurred in 2008, when the S&P 500 lost 37%. The top five funds had much smaller losses in 2008, while the bottom five funds lost much more than the S&P 500. A lesson worth repeating here: Don’t lose money.

These numbers should be taken solely to judge whether the Guru is a good investor. For instance, Bruce Berkowitz’s Fairholme Fund will be on the top if we look at the past 10 years. Ken Heebner’s CGM Focus Fund wouldn’t be at the bottom if we looked at the past five years, as the fund gained 80% in 2007. Some interesting observation here. After 2007’s 80% of gain, Ken Heebner was framed on the cover of Fortune magazine. He was the hottest fund manager on earth. New money poured in just in time for the worst performance period of Ken Heebner in his career. Similar can be said of Bruce Berkowitz. He was featured in Fortune in 2010. His fund quickly ballooned to the size of $21 billion by February 2011. It dropped to less than $7 billion by December 2011. Another lesson here: Don’t put your money in a fund if you read about him in Fortune.

GuruFocus’ model portfolios Most Broadly Held Portfolio and Most Weighted Portfolio had a cumulative gain of 6% and -9.3% in the same period.

GuruFocus is conducting an interview with Don Yacktman. We expect to receive his answers next week. In the meantime, please read GuruFocus’ interviews with other great Gurus:

Answers from GuruFocus' Q&A with Chuck Akre

GuruFocus Interview with Chuck Royce

GuruFocus Interview with Investor Arnold Van Den Berg

Also see Don Yacktman’s top picks here.

About the author:

gurufocus
GuruFocus - Stock Picks and Market Insight of Gurus

Rating: 4.4/5 (20 votes)

Comments

ramands123
Ramands123 - 2 years ago


Good. Is it possible to have 10- 15 year comparison. That would cover .com and financial crises.

Please leave your comment:


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