Third Quarter 2018

During the quarter, the Global Resources Fund underperformed its benchmark, the S&P Global Natural Resources Index, by 808 basis points. Weak performance was due to an overweight position in junior natural resource companies and an overweight position in holdings denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. See complete fund performance here. 

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. The principal value and investment return of an investment will fluctuate so that your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.

Strengths

  • The fund’s underweight positions in refiners, precious metals and building materials sectors resulted in positive contributors to the fund’s performance.
  • The fund’s superior stock selections in refiners, precious metals, oil services, integrated oil and building materials sectors had a positive contribution to the fund relative to the benchmark this quarter.
  • Holdings that were among the fund’s best contributors to performance included Grupa Lotos, EVRAZ and CNOOC Limited.

Weaknesses

  • An overweight position in junior natural resource stocks, chemicals and paper and forest sectors had the largest negative contribution to the fund this quarter.
  • The fund’s cash holdings, in addition to its large exposure to stocks not denominated in U.S. dollars, had a negative contribution to the fund’s performance.
  • Pacific Infrastructure, Interfor and Peabody Energy were among the fund’s most significant laggards this quarter.

Opportunities

  • It’s time to ditch the U.S. dollar as President Donald Trump's trade wars and the economy weigh, says ING Group. Pro-cyclical factors that supported the U.S. dollar lately would likely go into reverse; the U.S. economy and stock markets “won’t be immune to any escalation in trade wars,” argue the bank’s strategists.
  • The commodity trend is up and a dip has been provided. The commodity price looks discounted because trade turmoil should be short-lived. Metals have the most potential to catch up to strong energy, notably if the U.S. dollar's bounce and emerging-markets volatility subside, according to Bloomberg. Commodities are in a nascent bull market, whereas stocks aren't. If the commodity correction becomes something greater, the indication would be greater risks to financial assets and the global reflationary trend, concludes Bloomberg.
  • Commodities trading is finally bringing some relief for major investment banks. The combined income at 12 top banks, including Goldman and J.P. Morgan, jumped 38 percent to $2.1 billion in the first half, according to analytics firm Coalition. The year-on-year rebound is partly due to one-off gains in energy and industrial metals.

Threats

  • China hit record low investment growth. The sluggishness of fixed asset investment for August disappointed economists, who hoped for a stronger print resulting from Beijing’s fiscal impulse. The print was the slowest rate of growth in more than a quarter century.
  • OPEC oil production surged in August, more than making up for the expected drop in Iranian crude exports. In its monthly report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said OPEC crude output climbed in August by 420,000 barrels a day, to average 32.63 million barrels a day. This marks the cartel’s biggest month-on-month increase in more than two years.
  • Latest U.S. refinery data is bearish as total commercial inventories rise above the seasonal norm. With fall refinery maintenance season well underway, refined product inventories should be dropping. They have been increasing, implying lower commercial demand for fuel and distillates as the summer peak driving season wrapped up.

The S&P Global Natural Resources Index includes 90 of the largest publicly-traded companies in natural resources and commodities businesses that meet specific investability requirements, offering investors diversified, liquid and investable equity exposure across 3 primary commodity-related sectors: Agribusiness, Energy, and Metals & Mining.

A basis point, or bp, is a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01% (0.0001).

Fund portfolios are actively managed, and holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. Holdings in the Global Resources Fund as a percentage of net assets as of 9/30/2018: Grupa Lotos SA 1.52%, Evraz PLC 1.83%, CNOOC Ltd. 1.62%, Pacific Infrastructure Ventures Inc. 6.03%, Interfor Corp. 1.47%, Peabody Energy Corp. 1.32%.           

Net Asset Value
as of 11/12/2018

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $4.82 -0.07 Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $6.39 -0.16 World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $3.16 -0.10 China Region Fund USCOX $7.98 -0.09 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $6.19 -0.09 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $25.01 -0.28 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $18.44 -0.25 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.19 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change