What do you do when your flagship fund goes from the top of its class to close to the bottom in a matter of weeks? From market trouncing to market lagging? That is the challenge facing this week’s guest.
Alex Umansky, Portfolio Manager of the Baron Global Advantage Fund which he launched at the firm of legendary growth manager Ron Baron in 2012. Umansky oversees about $2.4 billion dollars in assets at Baron Capital including $1.7 billion at his flagship Baron Global Advantage Fund.
However, in mid-November of 2021, the bottom fell out for the majority of its holdings. Global Advantage went from a 20% plus gain to a less than one percent gain by year-end, while its benchmark and competition fared much better. So far this year the fund is down 33% and lagging badly.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Umansky discusses what’s changed and what in his mind hasn’t, which is why he is doubling down on some of his hardest-hit holdings and is convinced they will be long-term winners.
WEALTHTRACK Episode #1843 broadcast on April 22, 2022
Listen to the audio-only version here:
Russian talk show host, viewed by many in the West as Vladimir Putin’s mouthpiece. Soon after Umansky decided that Russia was no longer investable and sold his Russian stock positions. He explained his prescient decision in a letter to Baron Global Advantage Fund shareholders later that year. He shared a copy with WEALTHTRACK. Download the letter. [.pdf]
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- Portfolio Manager
- Baron Global Advantage Fund
FOLLOW YOUR OWN RULES ABOUT WHAT IS INVESTABLE OR NOT
- Index funds are required to invest in companies & countries in their benchmark indexes
- Individuals are not
- Most portfolio managers choose companies & countries based on investment opportunities
- Individuals can apply other criteria: political risk and moral values
- In totalitarian countries like Russia and China rules & laws can be changed arbitrarily
- Apply moral values to investments in specific countries:
- Russia’s brutal & unprovoked war against UkraineSpeculative companies
- China’s President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on Hong Kong, Chinese dissidents, persecution of ethnic minorities
Mentioned in this episode:
- Shopify Inc. (SHOP)
- MercadoLibre, Inc. (MELI)
- CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. (CRWD)
- Datadog, Inc. (DDOG)
- Adyen N.V. (ADYEN.AS)
- ZoomInfo Technologies Inc. (ZI)
- Snowflake Inc. (SNOW)
- Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN)
- Alphabet Inc. Class C (GOOG)
- Cloudflare, Inc. (NET)
DRIVERLESS CAR FUTURE
- Buy Rivian Automotive Inc. (RIVN)
- Price: $36.23 on 4/20/22
- 52-week range: $179.47 – $33.46
Alex Umanskyfrom the WEALTHTRACK Archives:
Star growth fund manager Alex Umansky was raised in Russia, but born in Ukraine and spent summers there with his grandparents. He reflects on the tragedy unfolding there and keeping his personal and professional life on track.