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POGRX and alternatives

I have been looking for a replacement for MFCFX (Marsico Flexible Capital) recently. The departure of D. Roa, 7/2012, seems to have had a signifcant affect on the performance of this fund. In fact, according to M*, it DOES NOT have one stock holding from Mr. Roa's tenure; all stocks were bought in 2013 or 2014.

I have researched and compared various replacements and POGRX is high on my list. But when I compare it to MFCFX and other LCG funds it's metrics and returns are not usually at the top.

What is it that so impresses everyone about Primecap Odessey Growth? I'm not saying it is not a solid fund, it certainly is, but how good is it?

I have to admit, I do like the sector concentration a lot!

Bottom line, I think the near three years after D. Roa left MFCFX is enough time to determine if the new Mgmnt team is doing a good job. I don't think so; there are too many other All-cap/Large-cap Growth funds to choose from.

I am looking for some suggestions, opinions and insights!!

Thank you,



  • edited March 2015

    Hi Matt,

    I hold CCMAX within the specialty sleeve of my portfolio which is a half sister fund to your subject fund MFCFX. Thus far, I am pleased with CCMAX and plan to retain it.

    One of the things that I look at before kicking a fund to the curb is to determine my tax liability. Sometimes it is better to just keep what you might have over moving on.

    A fund that you might wish to look at is SPECX (Alger Spectra). It is a LCG fund which I hold in my large/mid cap sleeve. Its ten year average total return is 13.55%.

  • One thought comes to mind: Analysis Paralysis. It happens to all of us at one time or another. Large cap growth or multi cap growth funds can have wild swings, and highest returns are not always the best metric to use in choosing them. That way you will always be in the church of whats happening now, not giving the manager or team credit for knowing more than you do. Find a team or manager whose style you like and doesn't give you trouble sleeping. Personally, I think the expense ratio of 1.38 on MFCFX is high for a large cap fund and its turnover of over 100% would give me pause regardless of the returns. You might expect that in a small cap fund, but I like large cap managers with conviction.

    I have POGRX and paired it with TFOIX, same basic category LCG but they seems to work well together, they have different sector allocations, so when one is on top, the other may lag, but it works for me.
  • I held MFCFX and made good money when Doug Rao managed the fund. I sold soon after he left. The fund was never a "flexible capital" fund at all as the bond and alternative holdings to stocks have never made up a significant portion of the fund. It's a global growth fund. It would appear that the new managers at MFCFX did a lot of selling in 2013 and 2014 and shareholders received large distributions. If you have the fund in a taxable account, you may already have been socked with taxes. I think it's hard to know what success the new managers will have. The Marsico brand does not inspire confidence in me, FWIIW. You could look at IWIRX.
  • edited March 2015

    Thanks for the thought.

    Indeed IWIRX is an interesting fund. World stock funds that I currently hold within the growth area, global sleeve, within my portfolio are PGROX, ANWPX and THOAX plus AJVAX in my small/mid cap sleeve along with TOLLX held within the specialty sleeve where I also hold CCMAX.

    Right now, I am a happy camper with all of them; but, I'll study IWIRX in more depth and perhaps place it on my watch list so if one of my current ones falter I'll have a go to fund.

    So you know CCMAX is held in a taxable account and even with all the repositioning the fund mangers have done I would still be left with a large tax bill if sold. Think I'll continue to keep it as I am now retired and I am limited on how much income I can make each year without having to pay increased medicare premiums.

  • @mcmarasco: Primecap Management is one of the crown jewels of fund managers. I highly recommend POGRX, it's a winner, winner chicken dinner. U.S. News & World Report rank POGRX #2 in the (LCG) fund category right behind one other PrimeCap fund PPCCX, and tied for #2 with VPMCX another PrimeCap fund.
  • My choice for LCG is Guggenheim Pure Growth ETF RPG with 035% ER.
  • Thank you everyone for your comments, suggestions and opinions!!!

    I hold MFCFX in my taxable account so I took a huge tax hit this year, and I still have a fair amount of CG's to consider if I liquidate.

    slick, I agree with the Paralysis-by-Analysis and I have fallen into that trap before. I hope I'm not doing that now. I never just look at the returns when buying or selling an asset. I too do not like the high ER, Turnover or Tax Cost Ratio, among other metrics. This is why I am looking to replace MFCFX.

    Ted, thanks for the link, I periodically check their rankings.

    Does anybody want to elaborate on why Primecap is so widely held as a "crown jewel" as Ted highlighted? What makes POGRX (or POSKX) a highly desired investment???

    Any further comments or suggestions are very welcome!!! I have some DD in front of me, thank you all again!!

  • I like it so much I hold it in a taxable account and another Primecap in a variable annuity.
  • TedTed
    edited March 2015
    @mcmarasco: How Primecap got their crown !
    Primecap: The Best Stock Pickers You've Never Seen:

    2014 M* Fund Managers of The Year:

    10 Yr. Average Total Return: A Testament To Active Management
    Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)=7.6%
    PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growth (POAGX)=14.3%
    PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth (POGRX)=10.5%
    PRIMECAP Odyssey Stock (POSKX)=9.4%
    Vanguard Capital Opportunity (VHCOX)=11.1%
    Vanguard PRIMECAP Core (VPCCX)=10.4%
    Vanguard PRIMECAP (VPMCX)=10.5%

  • edited March 2015
    I had vpccx in both taxable and IRA accts. by oversight I exchanged the holding in IRA, so cant get in again. So I keep careful eye on the taxable holding. btw, I hold vhcox in taxable and that too is closed for new investors. but keep adding the allowed annual 25k to vpccx
  • Matt,

    For me the attraction to Primecap is low expense ratios, low turnover, they seem to do a reasonably good job of closing their funds and I personally like that they're not out for a lot of attention or publicity. Of course their returns have been fantastic and to your question about POGRX I think part of the answer is that its one of the funds still open to new investors. It tends not to perform quite as well as Vanguard Primecap depending on the time period you look at but its very close.

  • IF you believe that this is the time to enter the market, POGRX offers low cost, some international exposure ( I haven't gone back to look to see if they are more internationally oriented when the situation dictates) and, according to M* has consistently beaten their category and usually the S&P, which makes it a bit better than an index fund. Their chart shows a significant decline in 2011, so it is a fund in which you park you money and check every year or so, or at least at manager changes. Some of the managers are getting pretty old.
    It's unlikely you will do better; only the timing matters. I'm happily in the Vanguard Primecap and Capital Opps.
  • Hi Matt,

    If you like Doug Rao, then you may want to take a look at the fund he has been managing since 6/2013 -- JCAPX -- which has started to perform well over the past 6 months. We have a foothold in this fund which we were able to purchase for a low minimum in our Wellstrade retirement account.

  • Thank you again, everybody, I appreciate all of the input, it has helped a lot!!

    kevindow, thank you for the insight into JCAPX! I perused the details of Janus Forty and it seems to have a slightly different approach than MFCFX. But I will have to take closer look at it since Mr. Roa is managing it!

    At this point, I am leaning toward Primecap Odyssey Growth (POGRX) mostly because I like the all-cap approach, similar to that of MFCFX under Mr. ROA. I have yet to hear anything negative of any of the Primecap funds, which is quite impressive, so that's a huge plus, along with the other metrics most have already highlighted (ER, T/O, etc.).

    Thank you,

  • You can be sure that Janus 40 bears Doug RAO's signature. In a previous post here I pointed out that the fund's shareholders received massive distributions in 2013 and 2014. I opined that he must have done a lot of selling.
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