Global Equity Fund

December 31, 2021

Market Context

  • Global stocks, as measured by the Morningstar Developed Markets Index, were up 19.6% in Canadian dollar terms in 2021.
  • The U.S. market (S&P 500 Index) was a leader, rising 28.2% (in Canadian dollars). Europe also saw double-digit gains, while emerging market stocks declined. The Canadian dollar was unchanged against the U.S. dollar but rose significantly against the Euro (8%) and Japanese Yen (12%), which dampened the returns of these stocks.

Portfolio Specifics

  • In mid October, we announced the hiring of Aristotle Capital Management as manager of the fund, and the portfolio was fully transitioned by the end of the month. Our comments focus on the fund after Aristotle’s hiring.
  • Currently, the fund owns 49 stocks, of which 21 are domiciled in the U.S., 11 in Europe, 9 in Japan, 3 in Asia Pacific, 3 in the U.K., and 2 in Canada. Companies range in size from mega-cap Microsoft to small-cap FirstCash Holdings.
  • Technology companies comprise 24% of the portfolio. Chip makers have done extremely well, as increased demand paired with limited supply has led to rising stock prices. Our holdings include Microchip Technology, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Software producers account for the rest of our exposure, with investments including Microsoft, Adobe, Nemetschek, Dassault Systèmes, and PayPal.
  • Industrial goods & services companies also make up a sizable component (25%). As with our other funds, these investments are diverse in nature. They include Fanuc (leading supplier of automation for manufacturing), Kubota (maker of farm and construction equipment), and Rational (commercial ovens and steamers).
  • Consumer companies account for 17% of the portfolio, with “cyclicals” comprising the largest segment. Holdings include U.S. homebuilder Lennar, Japanese digital goods manufacturer Sony, and French luxury brand LVMH. The fund also owns well-known beverage maker Coca-Cola, consumer goods company Procter & Gamble, and Dutch brewer Heineken as part of its consumer products holdings.
  • Penske Automotive was sold late in the year. Aristotle concluded that the auto dealer’s financial performance is likely peaking following the recent surge in car demand. Proceeds were used to purchase U.K.-based pest control company Rentokil, which recently increased its market share after purchasing U.S. competitor Terminix.

Positioning

  • The manager looks for high quality business, defined as having sustainable competitive advantages, leading products or services, pricing power, and experienced executives. Aristotle then uses a private equity approach to valuing the company, as if it were buying the entire business. Finally, it identifies catalysts, or actions that are underway, that will propel the business to unlock its potential over the next 3-5 years.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Important information about the Steadyhand funds is contained in our Simplified Prospectus. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated.