1Q2020 – International Growth Commentary

Our active approach to international markets employs Polen Capital’s time-tested guardrails, which steer us clear of investments in highly cyclical corners of the market, like banking and energy.

  • During the first quarter of 2020, the Polen International Growth Portfolio (the “Portfolio”) returned -16.08% gross of fees. The MSCI All Country World ex-USA Index (the “Index”) returned -23.35%. The Portfolio outperformed the Index by a 7.27% margin.
  • Our holdings in the communications services and consumer staples sectors contributed most to Portfolio returns in the first quarter while the consumer discretionary and information technology sectors detracted. Relative performance was helped by a lack of exposure to financials and energy, which is a byproduct of our bottom-up fundamental investment approach.
  • We maintain a balance of growth and safety in our Portfolio, and our investments in steady businesses are intended to provide ballast to Portfolio performance. This volatile first quarter brought into focus the importance of an allocation to steady companies, and these attributes enabled the Portfolio’s outperformance during the period.
  • While we remain in an unprecedented situation, we are confident that our time-tested investment approach has positioned us well to navigate these challenging times.

Read the full commentary here