Third Quarter 2017

The Holmes Macro Trends Fund had a total return of 2.82 percent in the third quarter of 2017, underperforming its benchmark, the S&P Composite 1500 Index, which returned 4.44 percent. See complete fund performance here. 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 largest contributors to the fund were its allocations to health care, financials and the tactical ETF positioning.
  • The fund’s overweight in sector-specific investments proved to be a good decision, evidenced by the allocation’s outperformance.
  • Investments in the technology sector ETF, Rockwell Collins and Landauer were among the best contributors to fund performance.

Weaknesses

  • The fund’s cash allocation was the largest drag on the fund.
  • The underweight allocation in energy and information technology was the principal driver of underperformance.
  • Investments in Pentanova, Eagle Pharmaceuticals and Taubman Centers were the fund’s worst contributors to performance.

Opportunities

  • Hurricane Harvey’s wind and rain damaged more than just houses, schools, refineries and factories. According to Cox Automotive, which controls Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader.com and other automotive businesses, as many as half a million cars and trucks could have been rendered inoperable because of the flooding.
  • President Donald Trump is backing down from a threat to force a government shutdown over funding for his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a report from The Washington Post. Any threat of a shutdown poses big potential turmoil for stocks.
  • U.S. second-quarter growth was revised upward to the fastest pace in two years on stronger household spending and a bigger gain in business investment, according to Commerce Department data. GDP rose at an annualized rate of 3 percent from the prior quarter, revised upward from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent.

Threats

  • The Federal Reserve announced it would embark on its biggest post-recession policy shift since it first raised interest rates at the end of 2015. The central bank confirmed that it would start trimming the $4.5 trillion balance sheet it built up after the Great Recession
  • Buybacks, a strategy frequently deployed in the last couple of years to boost share prices, is on the decline. Spending on buybacks, however, has slipped over the past six months. Investment-grade-rated corporations repurchased $64 billion worth of stock in the second quarter, down from $84 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to data compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The decline puts added pressure on the stock market, which has become accustomed to buybacks pushing shares higher during lean times when real fundamental catalysts aren't present. Ironically, one of the main reasons for the decrease in repurchase spending is that the lofty stock prices that have helped push the market to record highs are making it more expensive to conduct more buybacks
  • According to the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment pulled back to a final August reading of 96.8 in from a preliminary reading of 97.6.

The S&P 1500 Composite Index is a broad-based capitalization-weighted index of 1500 U.S. companies and is comprised of the S&P 400, S&P 500, and the S&P 600.  The index was developed with a base value of 100 as of December 30, 1994.

The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index, a survey of consumer confidence conducted by the University of Michigan, uses telephone surveys to gather information on consumer expectations regarding the overall economy.

Fund portfolios are actively managed, and holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. Holdings in the Holmes Macro Trends Fund as a percentage of net assets as of 9/30/2017: Rockwell Collins Inc. 0.00%, Landauer Inc. 3.92%, Pentanova Energy Corp. 2.21%, Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc. 1.92%, Taubman Centers Inc. 0.00%.

 

Net Asset Value
as of 12/14/2017

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $5.94 0.01 Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $7.33 No Change World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $5.72 0.08 China Region Fund USCOX $11.17 -0.11 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $7.07 0.03 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $24.54 -0.07 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $21.88 -0.17 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.21 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change