2015 Investor Award Winners
Harding Loevner was named winner of the 2015 US Investment Management Award for frontier markets. The firm is recognized among “US money managers in 36 asset classes who stood out in the eyes of the investor community for their exceptional performance, risk management and service” in 2014.
Rushing to Stake a Claim on the Market Frontier
The New York Times
Frontier markets—described in this article as the often “overshadowed smaller siblings” of big emerging-market countries like China and Brazil—are “among the least developed stock markets, though not necessarily in countries with the least developed economies.” Investing in frontier markets can be risky due to political upheaval or reliance upon a single commodity, but there is allure in their economic potential and diversification benefits. Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Lead Portfolio Manager Pradipta Chakrabortty notes the diversification appeal of frontier markets, commenting that they are “different from developed markets,” which “pretty much move in the same direction.”
The Limits of Outsmarting a Strong Dollar
The New York Times
Conrad De Aenlle
This article discusses the pros and cons of hedging currencies when buying foreign stocks and notes the common view among many investment advisers that “the best way to handle currencies in a long-term portfolio is to all but ignore them.” The author reports “most fund managers readily concede that they do not have the expertise” when it comes to making currency calls. Harding Loevner International Equity Strategy Portfolio Manager Bryan Lloyd is quoted, noting “we spend a fair amount of time analyzing what exposures businesses might have.” According to the article, Mr. Lloyd ensures the companies he is considering for investment “have a rough balance between the currencies of their sales and costs.”
On the Hunt for Higher Returns
The Wall Street Journal
Harding Loevner's Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio is cited in this article about opportunities for growth prospects in "riskier investment" alternatives, including peer-to-peer lending, frontier markets, farmland and timberland, rental property, and art and collectibles.
Who Made Morningstar’s Short List of Fund Favorites?
Harding Loevner's Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is noted as among the "defensively oriented funds" included on a recent short list of Morningstar's "favorite funds by category."
25 Great No-Load Mutual Funds
Nellie S. Huang
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is once again included in the Kiplinger 25 annual editors’ selection of their “favorite no-load mutual funds,” based on Kiplinger’s preference for funds with long-term records and managers with tenures to match. The author notes that Harding Loevner’s managers “seek high-quality firms with little debt and steady-to-improving margins.”
5 Emerging-Markets Medalists Weather the Storm
Morningstar Fund Spy Column
Harding Loevner's Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is featured in this article, which covers Morningstar Medalist funds investing in emerging-market equities. The author notes the fund's "emphasis is on growth companies with clear competitive advantages and strong growth rates," as well as the "frontier elements" that make the fund "stand out."
Actively Managed Funds that Won in 2014
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The article reports that Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) was among the “Kiplinger 25” that beat its index in 2014—“the fifth straight year in which the fund topped its index.” The author indicates that the returns of HLEMX “got a boost from [investments in] makers of generic drugs.”
Keep an Eye on the Downside
Harding Loevner’s International Equity Portfolio (HLMNX) is featured in this article, which focuses on “lower-risk funds” that have “low 10-year downside capture ratios.” The author notes the emphasis of HLMNX is “quality growth” with a “portfolio of companies with strong balance sheets and clear competitive advantages.” Also highlighted are the fund’s “seasoned management team” and “modest asset base.”
A ‘Frontier’ Markets Survival Guide
The Wall Street Journal
This article discusses the Morningstar report titled “Frontier Markets Begin to Emerge,” and provides guidance for investors interested in these markets. In a section on the value of active management within this asset class, Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio Manager Babatunde Ojo is quoted on the risky nature of frontier markets.
The Case for Buying Foreign Stocks Now
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The article notes that “the U.S. economy is growing much faster than almost any other developed country” but that “foreign economies and markets are beginning to show some signs of reviving.” The author advises putting 20% to 35% in foreign stocks “with about one-third of that in emerging markets.” One of the funds the author recommends is Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX).
Leaders and Laggards
This column includes Harding Loevner’s International Equity Portfolio (HLMNX) among the list of “Leaders,” noting that the fund “has managed capably through some very choppy waters.” The author notes the “quality bias” of HLMNX, and describes how the PMs “have used stock selection to weather recent storms with resilient stock picks.”
Frontier Markets Begin to Emerge
This article reviews the “underlying risks and performance drivers” of frontier markets, noting that although these markets “represent a tiny segment of the global investment universe…interest in the asset class has been growing.” One of the investment options highlighted is Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLFMX); the author notes that about 70–80% of the portfolio is invested in frontier market companies, and the remaining 20–30% is in companies from smaller emerging markets.
China’s Boom is Over – and Here’s What You Can Do About It
Paul J. Lim
This article analyzes the investment implications of China’s slowing economic growth and recommends emerging markets investors “concentrate on developing economies with more youthful populations and more potential to expand.” One fund the author recommends is Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLMOX) with its “big holdings in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Colombia.”
Investing in Emerging Markets Still Makes Sense
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In this discussion with a Wisconsin-based investment adviser about long-term investment opportunities in emerging markets, Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is recommended as a “fund with a very well-established track record.”
Where to Invest in 2015 and Beyond
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is featured in this Morningstar FundInvestor newsletter about where to invest in 2015. The author describes HLEMX as a “long-haul pick” with a “seasoned” management team that “seeks high-quality companies with competitive advantages.”
Bargains in International Stocks and Funds for 2015
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Anne Kates Smith
This article suggests that although “the U.S. is the engine of global economic growth,” investors can still “find good buys abroad.” Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is highlighted as a “good way to navigate” emerging markets, which are “due for a sustained upturn,” according to Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab & Co.
Frontier Markets Are Beginning to Emerge
In this Morningstar magazine article about the risks and rewards of investing in frontier markets, the author points to Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLFMX) as a “relatively seasoned strategy among frontier-markets funds.” HLFMX is one of “three actively managed frontier-markets funds” that has “existed for more than five years,” and includes both frontier markets and smaller emerging markets, allowing for greater liquidity in portfolio names.
You Aren’t Investing in Africa – And You’re Missing Out
This MarketWatch feature about investing in African stocks maintains that “for investors with steady nerves,” Africa offers “an opportunity to reap a better return than they would in the ‘old’ emerging markets.” David Snowball from Mutual Fund Observer points to the Harding Loevner Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLMOX) as a “broader” frontier fund that invests heavily in Africa.
Harding Loevner International Equity Institutional HLMIX
William Samuel Rocco
This Morningstar analysis discusses the “impressive pedigree” of the International Equity Portfolio (HLMIX) and the managers’ reliance on the “same quality-oriented and risk-conscious growth strategy” employed throughout all of Harding Loevner’s product offerings. HLMIX is described as a “one of the most appealing foreign large-growth offerings overall.”
Morningstar’s Take: Harding Loevner Global Equity Advisor HLMGX
William Samuel Rocco
This Morningstar analysis describes the Global Equity Portfolio as an “option for investors who are seeking long-term exposure to blue chips from across the globe.” The author points out the “experienced and skilled Harding Loevner veterans” managing the fund, as well as the fund’s “quality-growth strategy,” which is employed throughout all of Harding Loevner’s product offerings.
Keeping an Eye on the Downside
Harding Loevner’s International Equity Portfolio (HLMNX) is featured in this Morningstar FundInvestor newsletter as a fund with a low 10-year downside capture ratio. The author mentions the fund’s “seasoned management team” and “quality growth” philosophy, and also notes the fund’s “portfolio of companies with strong balance sheets and clear competitive advantages.”
Best Way to Play Emerging Markets
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
The December issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance recommends the Harding Loevner Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) as the “best way to play emerging markets” in its annual roundup of the best financial products. The article notes that the Emerging Markets Portfolio “is the best-diversified choice.”
The Perils of One-Country Bets
The International Equity Portfolio (HLMNX) is mentioned in this article discussing the risks of only targeting single countries when investing in Europe. The author points to the Portfolio as an example of “actively managed funds [that] bet on individual stocks in Europe” and notes its solid long-term performance record.
Emerging Markets: Where to Go, What to Avoid
Rusty Johnson, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager of the Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) offers his views about “reform-minded countries” in this article about the outlook for investing in emerging markets. He comments that he is “generally optimistic about the big policy tilts” that he believes are putting countries “on a path for better growth.”
Simon Hallett: A Bottom-Up Approach in a Top-Down World
Harding Loevner’s Chief Investment Officer, Simon Hallett, discusses the firm’s quality-growth philosophy in this wide-ranging interview with Barron’s. He notes how Harding Loevner operates “very much on a bottom-up basis” in part because “we think that macro-forecasting is extremely difficult—and that even expert predictions are unreliable.” Other topics include the changing context of investing in emerging markets, the “imprecise science” of valuation, and examples of the firm’s stock selection process.
There’s a Lot to Like Here
In this Morningstar analyst report, Harding Loevner’s Global Equity Portfolio (HLMGX) is described as a “superior option for investors who are seeking long-term exposure to blue chips from across the globe.” The author notes that due to their active management, the portfolio managers “remain as willing as ever to allow their stock selection to lead to distinctive sector weightings.”
Mutual Fund Rankings, 2014
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kiplinger’s annual list of top-performing mutual funds includes both Harding Loevner’s Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLMOX) and Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX), the latter of which is a member of the Kiplinger 25 and the magazine’s “favorite emerging-markets funds.”
Global Favorites for Three Risk Levels
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is profiled in this article on mutual funds that invest in overseas markets. The author notes that the Portfolio’s management team seeks “high-quality companies that boast strong financials, enduring competitive advantages, and that [may] generate sustainable earnings growth.”
More Appealing Than Most Rivals
In this Morningstar analyst report, Harding Loevner’s International Equity Portfolio (HLMIX) is described as focusing “on firms that have healthy balance sheets, clear competitive advantages, and other positive attributes along with strong growth rates.” The author notes that due to the portfolio managers’ “stock selection as well as its quality bias and other moderate traits, the fund has consistently held up well in downturns.”
Why Europe May Gain the Edge for Investors
The New York Times
Alexander Walsh, Co-Lead Portfolio Manager for Harding Loevner’s International Equity Portfolio, notes in this discussion on the European economy that given the region’s weak growth, “investors need to be buying businesses with resilient demand for their services and products in a flat economy.”
Bargain-Priced Stocks Overseas
Harding Loevner’s Emerging Markets Portfolio (HLEMX) is in this article on opportunities for investing outside the US.
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.
Average Weighted Market Capitalization: the product of a security's price & the number of shares outstanding.
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.
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.
Downside Capture: a measure of the manager's performance in down markets relative to the market itself.
Earnings Per Share (EPS): portion of a company's profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock.
Free Cash Flow: A measure of financial performance that represents the cash a company generates from its business after making the expenditures necessary to maintain the company's operations.
Maximum Drawdown: Measures the loss in any losing period during a fund's investment record. It is defined as the percent retrenchment from a fund's peak value to the fund's valley value.
Price/Book: the ratio of a firm's closing stock price & its fiscal year end book value/share.
Price/Earning: the ratio of a firm's closing stock price & its trailing 12 months' earnings/share.
Return on Equity (ROE): the net income divided by total common equity outstanding, expressed as a percent.
Standard Deviation: the statistical measure of the degree to which an individual value in a probability distribution tends to vary from the mean of the distribution.
The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index provides a measure of the performance of the U.S. investment grade bonds market, which includes investment grade U.S. Government bonds, investment grade corporate bonds, mortgage pass-through securities and asset-backed securities that are publicly offered for sale in the United States.
The FTSE Emerging Markets index is part of the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (GEIS). The series includes large and mid-cap securities from advanced and secondary emerging markets and provides investors with a comprehensive means of measuring the performance of the most liquid companies in the emerging markets.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 tracks 400 companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange that have been selected based upon specific quantitative and qualitative criteria, including average ROE, operating profit, market capitalization, and corporate governance policies.
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.
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 Emerging Markets Index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index designed to measure equity market performance in all countries from the MSCI Frontier Markets Index and the lower size spectrum of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The Index consists of 24 frontier markets and 4 emerging markets.
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 MSCI Investable Market Indexes (IMI) cover all investable large-, mid- and small-cap securities across the Developed, Emerging and Frontier Markets, targeting approximately 99% of each market's free-float adjusted market capitalization.
The MSCI Japan Index is designed to measure the performance of the large and mid cap segments of the Japanese market. The index covers approximately 85% of the free float-adjusted market capitalization in Japan.
The MSCI USA Index is a free float adjusted market capitalization index that is designed to measure large and mid-cap US equity market performance.
The NCREIF Farmland Index is a quarterly time series composite return measure of investment performance of a large pool of individual agricultural properties acquired in the private market for investment purposes only.
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 S&P Europe 350 is an equity index covering 17 major European markets, representing approximately 70% of the region's market capitalization.
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 Schwab Fundamental International Large Company Index Fund seeks investment results that correspond to the total return of the Russell Fundamental Developed ex-U.S. Large Company Index. The Index measures the performance of the large company size segment by fundamental overall company scores, which are created using as the universe the companies in the Russell Developed ex-U.S. Index.
The STOXX Europe 600 represents large, mid and small capitalization companies across 18 countries of the European region.
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The Expense Ratio for the Emerging Markets Portfolio, Advisor Class (HLEMX) is 1.45%. The Expense Ratio for the Frontier Emerging Markets Portfolio, Investor Class (HLMOX) is 2.22%.
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.