Finding New Frontiers in Mutual Fund Investing
Bloomberg Businessweek/Associated Press
This article surveys two money managers on the risks of frontier markets investing, including Rick Schmidt, a portfolio manager for Harding Loevner's Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLMOX). Describing the asset class as "very exciting" for long-term investors, Rick notes that while "the individual country risk is very high," because of the low correlation between frontier markets, "when you own a portfolio of those, you're actually reducing risk."
How We Pick the Kip 25
Harding Loevner's Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is again included in the "Kiplinger 25" annual list of the editors' favorite no-load mutual funds. Kiplinger notes in a previous summary of the Kip 25 that "we prefer funds with low fees run by managers with long, solid track records who work for fund families we trust. We like funds with low turnover that investors can hold for the long term."
Emerging Markets That Merit A Closer Look
In an article on strategies for investing in emerging markets following recent declines, Craig Shaw, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager for the Emerging Markets Portfolio, notes that "disruption goes with the emerging-market territory."
Frontier Fund Buyers Find It Pays To Look Under The Hood
Wall Street Journal
Harding Loevner's Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio is highlighted in this discussion of several funds that invest in frontier markets. The article quotes Co-Lead Portfolio Manager Pradipta Chakrabortty, who notes that he looks to identify "'companies that are very well positioned within the industry and expected to benefit over the long run' from growth in frontier economies."
No-Load Fund Investor Adds Harding Loevner Funds
No-Load Fund Investor
No-Load Investor announces it has started following Harding Loevner's five retail mutual funds: Global Equity Portfolio (HLMGX), International Equity Portfolio (HLMNX), Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX), International Small Companies Portfolio (HLMSX), and Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLMOX).
Bargain Hunting in the Emerging Markets
Harding Loevner's Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is one of four emerging markets funds highlighted which have "delivered relatively steady performance in the turbulence of recent years." The article notes that "Harding Loevner looks for companies with strong balance sheets and consistent earnings growth."
Blurred Lines for Funds a Mixed Blessing for Investors
This article discusses the rise of funds that “challenge the existing [asset] classifications” and points to Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio as an example. The author notes the Portfolio’s strategy of investing in both frontier markets and smaller emerging markets “can make sense” because it allows the manager to “invest in countries that could reasonably fall” in either category.
Look to Africa for Faster Growth
Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLMOX) is highlighted as one example of an actively managed fund that provides “significant exposure” to companies based in Africa, a region the author identifies as “high risk” but with “good growth potential.”
Frontier Markets: Strengths and Risks
Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio is identified as one of the largest frontier-markets funds in this article discussing the potential benefits and risks of investing in frontier markets.
Where is Your Fund Manager From?
Alec Walsh, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager of the International Equity Portfolio (HLMNX), is featured in this article examining “home bias” of fund managers, and, in the case of non-US investing, information asymmetry. Mr. Walsh disagrees that information asymmetry is an issue, as he believes technology and globalization have minimized information advantages.
Stocks Fall Slightly on Mixed Data
In this article on share-price volatility in 2014, Harding Loevner Analyst Margaret Kalvar was consulted on her view of Ralph Lauren’s recent share price decline. Ms. Kalvar notes that the company’s investments in e-commerce and expansion in Europe and Asia should be “margin accretive” over the long term. Ralph Lauren is held in the firm’s Global Equity Portfolio as of December 31, 2013.
Is Africa the Next Big Thing for Investors?
Conrad de Aenlle
Harding Loevner Analyst Babatunde Ojo notes in this article on investment opportunities in frontier Africa that governments in the region "are doing things to reduce the cost of doing business and that could improve economic growth." Mr. Ojo stresses that Harding Loevner's Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio looks for companies that are "well positioned, with a competitive advantage in a growing industry," and describes several of the Portfolio's investments in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Two Ways to Buy Into Battered Emerging-Markets Stocks
In this article on emerging markets volatility, the author interviews several international fund managers, including Ferrill Roll, Co-Lead PM of the International Equity Portfolio, on their opinions of the risks and opportunities in emerging markets. Mr. Roll believes that "with stocks down and currencies continuing to fall," companies in the region will "at some point...become more attractive."
Five Small Firms to Watch in 2014
Ignites identifies Harding Loevner and its mutual fund family as one of five firms "worth keeping an eye on in 2014." The article notes that Harding Loevner has a "distinctive investment strategy in traditional asset classes," and an "emphasis on emerging markets and foreign stocks" that keep the firm "well positioned" this year.
How to Invest in Volatile Emerging Markets
Wall Street Journal
This article references a number of ways to access emerging markets, including actively managed funds like Harding Loevner's Emerging Markets Portfolio.
Emerging Markets Selloff Bruises Big-Name Funds
Luciana Lopez and Tommy Wilkes
While discussing the recent downturn of emerging markets and the factors associated with the decline, the authors note that not all emerging markets funds are "submerging" and highlights the performance of Harding Loevner's Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio.
‘Frontier Markets’ Rope in Investors
Wall Street Journal
In an article on the increased attractiveness of frontier markets amid emerging markets volatility in 2013, Pradipta Chakrabortty, Co-Lead PM of the Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio, states that he has a "positive outlook for frontier markets."
Emerging Markets: What to Do Now
In this article on recent emerging markets instability, Rusty Johnson, Co-Lead PM of the Emerging Market Portfolio, discusses his outlook on the asset class, noting that while opportunities exist, investors should be "selective" and "invest gradually to avoid another downdraft."
In Search of Europe’s Growth Stories
The New York Times
Alexander Walsh, a Co-Lead PM of the International Equity Portfolio, was consulted in an article on Europe’s recovery from its economic downturn. Mr. Walsh expresses skepticism, noting that “we’re not buyers of the notion that Europe is on the cusp of a significant recovery.” Instead, he notes that he has managed the Portfolio’s exposure to the European economy by investing in European companies that operate globally.
The Gulf Plays a Hot Hand
In an article on investment opportunities in the Gulf, Pradipta Chakrabortty, Co-Lead PM of the Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio, notes that the increase in disposable income in Saudi Arabia could benefit retail companies held in the Portfolio.
2013 Was An Awesome Year for the Kip 25
In a discussion on the 2013 performance of Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) and other funds in the Kiplinger 25, the author notes that HLEMX outperformed its peers in part through its investments in Chinese internet companies and exposure to “less-established ‘frontier’ markets.”
Kinnel’s Fund Picks for Emerging Markets
In an interview on different ways to invest in emerging markets, Morningstar’s director of mutual fund research notes that Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio has had “good long-term risk-adjusted performance” with “good stock selection over the long haul.”
Is ‘Frontier’ the New ‘Emerging’?
Morningstar suggests that an “actively managed fund is probably the best option for frontier markets exposure” given the opportunities and risks associated with these markets. The article highlights Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio as one option, noting that the managers believe innovations in financial services in Africa will help support “broad-based and inclusive growth” throughout the region.
Why to Buy Emerging Markets Now
James K. Glassman
In the wake of recent volatility in emerging markets, the article suggests now “is the time for contrarian investors to look closely at them.” Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX), one of the Kiplinger 25, is highlighted as one of the author’s preferred actively managed funds.
Investors Buying into Aspirational Needs of Asian Consumers
Wall Street Journal
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio is mentioned in this article, which notes that the fund has maintained an overweight to the Consumer Discretionary sector to take advantage of a “pattern of more consumer spending across emerging markets” caused by increased wages and a growing middle class.
In Emerging Markets, a Time to Be Especially Choosy
The New York Times
Paul J. Lim
The views of different portfolio managers on the challenges currently facing emerging markets are discussed, including slowing growth and declining availability of “cheap credit globally.” Despite “worries over capital flows” in countries with large current account deficits such as Brazil and India, Rusty Johnson, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager of Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio, says “investors shouldn’t simply flee these markets”. The fund hasn’t sold out of fiscally strong companies in these markets. Mr. Johnson notes that “rather than selling the bad boys, we’re nibbling.”
Mutual Fund Rankings, 2013: U.S. stock funds lead our annual rankings of top-performing mutual funds in 11 categories
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX), a member of The Kiplinger 25, was listed as a top-ten performing diversified mutual fund for the 10-year period ended June 30, 2013. The corresponding article notes that emerging markets funds with frontier markets exposure, including HLEMX, have been better insulated from recent volatility in emerging markets. This month’s Kiplinger also ranked Harding Loevner’s International Small Companies Portfolio, Investor Class (HLMSX) as a top-ten small- and midsize-company international fund for the 5-year period ended June 30, 2013.
Medalist Emerging-Markets Funds Open for Business
Morningstar Fund Spy
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is included on Morningstar’s list of “Silver-rated” actively managed emerging markets funds. The article notes HLEMX’s focus on “healthy balance sheets and clear competitive advantages” and finds that “the quality of the fund’s holdings has helped keep a lid on risk relative to peers.”
Mutual Fund Analyses
William Samuel Rocco
Morningstar describes Harding Loevner’s International Equity Portfolio (HLMIX), as a “superior source of exposure to blue chips abroad,” thanks in part to its “quality-oriented and risk-conscious growth strategy” The article noted that the fund’s “seasoned and skilled money managers” have built “atypical sector and country weightings” in their search for stocks that meet the firm’s quality-growth criteria.
Zacks Global Mutual Fund Rankings
Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Equity Research
Harding Loevner’s Global Equity Portfolio (HLMGX) was highlighted in Zacks Equity Research Global Equity Mutual Fund Rankings.
The Next Frontier
Pradipta Chakrabortty, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager for Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio, discusses his experiences, successes, and recommendations for investing in frontier markets and the possible “rewards for going off the beaten path.” He believes that investors need at “least a three-year, and preferably a five- to 10-year horizon to ride out the inevitable short-term volatility” in order to “get to the strong returns” in countries like Ghana, Pakistan, Kenya, and Bangladesh. According to Mr. Chakrabortty, the Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio assesses not only an individual company’s competitiveness, but also analyzes “each country’s big picture, such as its political stability, exchange rates, and ability to fund itself” before making an investment in a frontier markets company.
8 Keys to Picking Winning Emerging Markets
Kiplinger’s notes that selecting a “well-managed fund,” such as Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX), is the “best way most investors” can access emerging markets. The author notes that by choosing an actively managed fund like HLEMX and avoiding emerging markets index funds, investors may be able to better navigate the complexities of emerging markets and avoid their recent volatility.
Hottest Emerging Markets Funds
Investment News’ lists Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio, Institutional Class (HLFMX) as its number one “hottest emerging markets fund,” and highlights what we feel are our strong returns over the past three years.
Investing in Funds: A Quarterly Analysis
The Wall Street Journal
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX) was ranked among the top-performing funds for the ten-year period ended June 28, 2013 in the Wall Street Journal's quarterly review of mutual funds, "The Journal Report."
Changes to the 500
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX) was added to the Morningstar FundInvestor 500 this July. The article notes that HLEMX has outperformed four-fifths of its peers over the past decade, thanks in part to its focus on “companies with strong competitive advantages and healthy balance sheets,” which have provided “good defensive characteristics” and helped insulate the fund from market downturns in 2001 and 2008.
Mutual Fund Analyses
William Samuel Rocco
Morningstar identifies Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX) as a “superior source of exposure to blue chips abroad” that focuses on investing in companies with “healthy balance sheets, clear competitive advantages, and other positive attributes along with strong growth rates." This article notes that the fund was weathered economic downturns better than many of its peers due to its “quality bias” and “price-conscious approach” yet has still managed to outperform in many mixed markets because of its managers’ positive stock selection.
What to Do About Rocky Times for Developing Markets
The Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX) has outperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets Index year-to-date in part due to its underweight in the poor performing, larger emerging markets that compose nearly half of the Index. The Kiplinger’s article noted that Portfolio Managers Rick Schmidt, Craig Shaw, and Rusty Johnson have diversified the Portfolio by also investing in “well-managed, financially strong businesses with strong competitive positions” in smaller emerging and frontier markets, such as Qatar, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia.
Are the BRICs Broken?
The Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is featured in this article advising emerging markets investors to “consider actively managed funds that have the flexibility to diverge from the benchmarks and invest in smaller companies and countries.” Harding Loevner’s focus on choosing companies with “good management teams and strong domestic franchises” is described.
Performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. Performance data current to the most recent month end may be obtained by calling (887) 435-8105, or visiting www.hardingloevnerfunds.com. Standardized performance for all Portfolios and links to their respective returns as compared to their benchmarks are available on the homepage, and can be accessed by clicking here.
Although a fund is no-load, management fees and other expenses will apply. Please refer to the Prospectus for further details.
References to other mutual funds should not be interpreted as an offer of these securities.
Mutual fund investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible. Investments in foreign securities involve greater volatility and political, economic, and currency risks and differences in accounting methods. Investments in emerging markets countries involve greater risks, such as immature economic structures, national policies restricting investments by foreigners, and different legal systems. Economic and political instability may cause larger price changes in emerging markets securities than other foreign securities. Such risks may be magnified with respect to securities of issuers in frontier emerging markets. The portfolio can have significant concentration in a single industry thereby making the portfolio vulnerable to factors affecting the industry. Investment opportunities in frontier markets may be concentrated in the banking industry. Investments in debt securities typically decrease in value when interest rates rise. This risk is usually greater for longer-term debt securities. Investments in lower rated and non-rated securities present a greater risk of loss to principal and interest than higher-rated securities. Investments in smaller companies involve additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility.
Fund holdings and sector allocations are subject to change and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Current and future holdings are subject to risk. The ten largest holdings for each Portfolio as of the most recent quarter-end can be obtained by clicking the following links: HLMVX, HLMIX, HLMRX, HLMEX, HLFMX, HLMGX, HLMNX, HLMSX, HLEMX, HLMOX.
Diversification does not assure a profit nor protect against loss in a declining market.
Earnings growth is not a measure of the funds future performance.
Basis Point: A unit that is equal to 1/100th of a percentage point.
Cash Flow: a measure of the cash generating capability of a company calculated by adding non-cash charges (e.g. depreciation) and interest expense to pretax income. Price/Earnings: the ratio of a firm's closing stock price and its trailing 12 months' earnings/share.
Correlation: the extent to which the vales of different types of investments move in tandem with one another in response to changing economic and market conditions.
Dividend Yield: the annual dividends per share divided by current price per share, expressed as a percent.
Earnings Per Share (EPS): portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock.
Forward P/E Ratio: the ratio of market price per share divided by expected earnings per share.
Price/Book: the ratio of a firm's closing stock price & its fiscal year end book value/share.
Return on Equity (ROE): the net income divided by total common equity outstanding, expressed as a percent.
Sortino Ratio: subtracts the risk-free rate of return from the portfolio's return, and then divides that by the downside deviation.
The Dow Jones Emerging Markets Consumer Titans Index tracks 30 of the largest emerging-market companies in the consumer good industry.
The Dow Jones Emerging Markets Select Dividend Index is designed to measure the stock performance of 100 leading dividend-paying emerging market companies, which are selected based on dividend yield.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average of 30 significant stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.
The Russell 2000® Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. The Russell 2000 is a subset of the Russell 3000® Index representing approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of that index. It includes approximately 2000 of the smallest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership.
The Russell 1000® Index measures the performance of the large-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. It is a subset of the Russell 3000® Index and includes approximately 1000 of the largest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership. The Russell 1000 represents approximately 92% of the U.S. market.
The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged index commonly used to measure performance of US stocks.
The S&P SmallCap 600 measures the small cap segment of the U.S. equity market. The index is designed to me an investable portfolio of companies that meet specific inclusion criteria to endure that they are liquid and financially viable.
The S&P SmallCap 600 returned 14.14% YTD as of 6/30/2013.
The MSCI All Country World Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance in the global developed and emerging markets.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index is a free-float adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure equity market performance in the global emerging markets. The Index consists of 21 emerging market countries.
The MSCI EAFE Index (Europe, Australasia, Far East) is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure developed market equity performance, excluding the US & Canada. The Index consists of 21 developed market countries.
The MSCI Europe Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of the developed markets in Europe. The Index consists of 15 developed market countrues.
The MSCI Egypt Index is designed to measure the performance of the large, mid and small cap segments of the Egyptian market. The Index covers approximately 99% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in Egypt.
The MSCI BRIC Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization weighted index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of the following four emerging market country indices: Brazil, Russia, India and China. At 12/31/12, the MSCI BRIC Index returned 6.67%, 14.54%, -1.07%, -5.36%, and 19.78%, respectively, for the 3-Month, 1-Year, 3-Year, 5-Year, and 10-Year periods.
Countries in the MSCI Frontier, Global Emerging and Mature (Developed) Market Indices are measured by economic development, size, liquidity and market accessibility in order to be classified as Frontier, Global Emerging and Mature (Developed) countries. Each June, MSCI communicates its conclusions on the list of countries under review and announces the new list of countries, if any, under review for potential market reclassification in the upcoming cycle.
The MSCI Frontier Markets Africa Index captures large and mid cap representation across 4 frontier Market African countries. The Index consists of 34 countries, which cover approximately 85% of the free float adjusted market capitalization in each country.
The MSCI Frontier Markets Index provides broad representation of the equity opportunity set across 26 countries while taking investability requirements into consideration within each market.
The MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index aims to capture the performance of frontier markets while putting a stronger emphasis on tradability compared to the broader parent index, the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. The MSCI Frontier Markets 100 Index is limited to 100 constituents.
The Vanguard 500 Index Fund seeks to track the performance of a benchmark index that measures the investment return of large-capitalization stocks.
You cannot invest directly in an Index.
The Gross Expense Ratio for the Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX) is 1.46%. The Gross Expense Ratio for the Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio, Investor Class (HLMOX) is 2.64%. The Gross Expense Ratio is as of the Prospectus, dated February 28, 2014.
For the one year period ending 5/31/2014, Morningstar ranked the Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Fund, HLMOX, in the top 2% among 630 funds in the Diversified Emerging Markets category based on total returns. Morningstar ranking represents a funds total-return percentile rank relative to all funds that have the same Morningstar Category. The Highest rank is 1 and the lowest is 100. It is based on Morningstar's total return, which includes both income and capital gains or losses and is not adjusted for sales charges or redemption fees. Morningstar ranked the Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Fund in the 2%, 2%, and 2% out of 630, 444, and 318 Diversified Emerging Market Funds for the one-, three- and five-year periods ending 5/31/2014, respectively.
Morningstar Foreign Large Growth category: These funds seek capital appreciation by investing in large international stocks that are growth-oriented. Large-cap foreign stocks have market capitalizations greater than 5 billion. Growth is defined based on high price/book and price/cash-flow ratios, relative to the MSCI EAFE Index. These funds typically will have less than 20% of assets invested in U.S. stocks.
Morningstar Foreign Large Blend category: These funds seek capital appreciation by investing in a variety of large international stocks. Large-cap foreign stocks have market capitalizations greater than $5 billion. The blend style is assigned to funds where neither growth nor value characteristics predominate. These funds typically will have less than 20% of assets invested in U.S. stocks.
Morningstar Foreign Large Value category: These funds seek capital appreciation by investing in large international stocks that are value-oriented. Large-cap foreign stocks have market capitalizations greater than $5 billion. Value is defined based on low price/book and price/cash-flow ratios, relative to the MSCI EAFE Index. These funds typically will have less than 20% of assets invested in U.S. stocks.
Morningstar Diversified Emerging Markets category: These funds tend to divide their assets among 20 or more nations, although they tend to focus on the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America rather than on those of the Middle East, Africa, or Europe. These portfolios invest predominantly in emerging market equities, but some funds also invest in both equities and fixed income investments from emerging markets.
Morningstar Analyst Rating is not a credit or risk rating. It is a subjective evaluation performed by the mutual fund analysts of Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar evaluates funds based on five key pillars, which are process, performance, people, parent, and price. Morningstar's analysts use this five pillar evaluation to identify funds they believe are more likely to outperform over the long term on a risk-adjusted basis. Analysts consider quantitative and qualitative factors in their research, and the weighting of each pillar may vary. The Analyst Rating ultimately reflects the analyst's overall assessment and is overseen by Morningstar's Analyst Rating Committee. The approach serves not as a formula but as a framework to ensure consistency across Morningstar's global coverage universe.
The Analyst Rating scale ranges from Gold to Negative, with Gold being the highest rating and Negative being the lowest rating. A fund with a "Gold" rating distinguishes itself across the five pillars and has garnered the analysts' highest level of conviction. A fund with a 'Silver' rating has notable advantages across several, but perhaps not all, of the five pillars-strengths that give the analysts a high level of conviction. A "Bronze"- rated fund has advantages that outweigh the disadvantages across the five pillars, with sufficient level of analyst conviction to warrant a positive rating. A fund with a 'Neutral' rating isn't seriously flawed across the five pillars, nor does it distinguish itself very positively. A "Negative" rated fund is flawed in at least one if not more pillars and is considered an inferior offering to its peers. Analyst Ratings are reevaluated at least every 14 months. For more detailed information about Morningstar's Analyst Rating, including its methodology, please go to corporate.morningstar.com/us/documents/MethodologyDocuments/AnalystRatingforFundsMethodology.pdf.
The Morningstar Analyst Rating should not be used as the sole basis in evaluating a mutual fund. Morningstar Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar's current expectations about future events; therefore, in no way does Morningstar represent ratings as a guarantee nor should they be viewed by an investor as such. Morningstar Analyst Ratings involve unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause Morningstar's expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what we expected.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.