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Anyone own Wintergreen (WGRNX)?

If yes, can you tell me why? Seems to be a huge disappointment.


  • I bought it when it opened. Thought that a Michael Price protege would make me rich. Sold the fund last year. Very poor performance. Put the proceeds in my existing Meridian funds, and very glad I did.
  • edited June 2018
    No - never owned. But it’s sad to see this. I was very impressed by Winters and came close to investing with him when he opened his own fund. His WGRNX has had very poor performance since it opened in ‘05. Lipper places it near bottom among its peers in most areas. I did own Michael Price’s very fine Mutual Series for a time in the 80s or 90s. Winters worked under Price.

    Part of problem is that deep value hasn’t done well over that time. (Ed Studzinski had some interesting remarks on the modern day challenges confronting deep value investors in the June Commentary). Another aspect of this is the idea of a “one man band” (single manager) vs a team approach. That issue has been batted around here a lot lately.

    I think the topic is valuable (possibly instructive) even for those of us who don’t own the fund. For those who might be intrigued by your post, here’s some information on Winters from Wikipedia:

    “David (Winters) joined Mutual Series in 1987, during Max Heine's tenure. Heine died the next year, so David was mentored in value investing by Michael Price. One key component of his value investing methodology is not to just buy at a discount, but to help management unlock that potential value as an active investor. He also looks for value where others don't want to look and is willing to go the extra mile in finding ways to invest money.

    “He was named Director of Research of Mutual Series in 2000 and President and CIO in 2001. During his time with Franklin Mutual Advisors, he was also the portfolio manager of the Mutual Discovery Fund from February 2000 to May 2005. After leaving Mutual Series in 2005, (Winters) formed Wintergreen Advisers and the Wintergreen Fund in Maine ... The companies are named after the official state herb of Maine, the wintergreen. He was encouraged by others to open a less-regulated hedge fund, but opted to run a comparatively strictly regulated mutual fund.”

    I’m not familiar enough with how the fund is invested to say whether I would sell or hold. But, I’m not opposed to sticking with a manager during rough times if I understand what he’s trying to do and think there’s still a chance the strategy will pay off. The 2% ER, however, is a turn-off - and probably the reason I didn’t invest with him when the fund opened.
  • Hank summed it up well. Since Michael Price sold his company to Franklin and he left several years later, the old Mutual Series of funds were never the same. David Winters' Wintergreen fund has been mediocre fund since inception while charging high expense ratio.

    I would consider FMI International fund, FMIJX even though it is not a global fund.
  • @hank: I agree. Not sure if the 'deep value' has been the problem, however. There are other funds/teams employing a value strategy and not having the same issue as Winters. It is true that growth has been on a tear lately, but I'm heavily into value and have still been able to capture 88% of the upside returns (portfolio vs s&p 500). I too invested in 05 and bailed after his failure to protect in 08. As Sven mentioned, I moved to FMI, and Yacktman; couldn't be happier. But its amazing to see him out there charging 2%
  • It seems that Evermore global would be a better alternative if one was interested in a person in the line of Michael Price.
  • @hmgodwin: what's the symbol?
  • edited June 2018
    I sold WGRNX in the downturn. Trying to buy it ever since, but never made it.

    Evermore Global - I've always felt this fund is more hype than anything. Other's may beg to differ. I did own it briefly in the past. Be ready for many years of underperformance. Like I keep saying when you buy more important than what you buy. Good for those who bought at right time. If we take a look at WGRNX you will see the same thing.


    Please nobody say these funds are not in the same "category". IF both managers are following Michael Price, they are going wherever "value" is. They need to be compared together. As always, we look at recent performance, Morningstar rating and 5 and change our minds. We just pretend we know what we are doing.

    STILL, if you want to compare EVGBX against its category the chart does that for you as well. Look at the beginning of the chart, and tell me honestly you would have held on to that fund.

    PS - I'm actually building a position in MDISX and MQIFX
  • @BrianW
    The Evermore Global Value Fund (the “Fund”) is a series of Evermore Funds Trust, an investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Fund offers two share classes — an Investor Class (EVGBX) and an Institutional Class (EVGIX). The Fund’s shares are currently available on over 50 mutual fund platforms, including Charles Schwab, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Pershing, LPL, UBS, RBC, etc.

  • Agree with above. Price was my first mutual fund manger ever in 1989. I stuck with them thru Mutual Series and switched to MDISX. My capital gains now are such that while I am disappointed it hasn't continue to excel, it hasn't done badly so I sell a little every year.

    I was excited to follow Winters to WGRNX but his performance has been really dissapponting so I sold years ago and haven't looked back
  • I will never invest with one-time famed managers, like Bruce Berkowitz, David Winters, etc.
  • Two other funds that flopped badly despite the apparent good pedigrees of the managers are SEEDX (ex-Oakmark guys, now defunct) and GOODX (ex-Fairholme guys, now 1 star). It seems hard to predict how a manger will do based on where s/he trained.
  • @young: and you're probably better off for it. Unless they're named Akre or Yacktman.
  • @BenWP- Sounds to me a lot like horse racing. :)
  • @BenWP: don't even talk about SEEDX. I still feel like throwing up whenever I think about it. Only one of them was former Oakmark. Never fell for the former FAIRX guys.
  • Actually, I think he was a former Yacktman analyst.
  • If managers like these did relatively better in one or two years of mediocre market, you are about to ditch them
  • I've invested with Akre and Yatckman since the 90's.
  • Don Yacktman that is until he turned everything over to Stephen.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Here's the thing about active management--and life itself--it depends. The idea that there is some binary answer--teams good/bad or single manager good/bad--is absurd. But on the internet people have a fondness for binary thinking. It's the reason there are so many top ten lists or best/worst lists online. Further complicating matters always with active management is determining how much of a manager's/team's success is due to luck or skill. The only advice I would have is the more concentrated a portfolio, the simpler the asset class--think stocks--the more likely it is possible a single manager could handle the fund. The more complex the asset class--think bonds because there are literally millions of issues in the entire bond market making the asset class much harder to cover--or strategy--balanced, multi-assest, hedged--the more likely a team may be better suited to handle it.
  • "It depends". Yes indeed.

    A minor quibble: how can a list of ten things be "binary"? :)
  • I thought Letterman invented the top ten list
  • Old_Joe said:

    A minor quibble: how can a list of ten things be "binary"? :)

    List of ten things? 10?

  • @LewisBraham
    There are good or bad mangers there for sure, but they are NOT tied up to annual top 10 lists. Types of assets they managed have little to do with it either.
    We judge good or bad not by "BINARY internet people", dude...
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