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DF Dent Growth Funds Annual Report

DF Dent Mid Cap (DFDMX) is new to my portfolio this year and this is the company's first annual report I've received.

It's an impressive document on many counts. Their discussion of indexing vs. active management is really insightful and gave me a better understanding of the consequences of choosing one or the other, including an ominous prediction of what might happen to the market if all the new index money suddenly wanted to get out the door at the same time. Dent claims they would not be much affected by such an event, but I took that with a grain of salt. The Dent managers of their three strategies explain in detail rarely found in other annual reports how they initiate positions, how they prune, and how they re-balance and why. I followed the mid-cap fund for a while after Kipplinger put it on its list of "25," and I did the same after Barron's highlighted the Premier Growth Fund. Both endorsements, according to the report, resulted in money flowing in. DF Dent is a Baltimore firm in very good company: TRP, Brown Capital, and Brown Advisory hang out there, too. Most annual reports I read are pablum; this one has flavor and substance.


  • @BenWP & MFO Members: Ben owns a real gem. The fund, ranks #2 in the MCG Fund Category By U.S. News & World Report:
  • edited October 2019
    I'm looking to buy DFDMX for my Roth IRA on the next reasonable dip. I'm very impresssed by its risk adjusted performance and the management's philosophy. I am amazed it's still such a tiny fund ($170m), especially following three years of outstanding performance and no outflows to speak of.

    On the general topic of actively managed versus index funds, I have never owned nor ever wanted to own the latter. If the market does take a serious downturn then a manager who can navigate the headwinds is worth his weight in gold. Think Larry Puglia at TRBCX which has not had a single down year in the last ten. Investors in many index funds, however, will be at the full mercy of market forces - and they will finally pay full price for their cheap investments.
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