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Weitz Balanced (WBALX)

edited August 2013 in Fund Discussions
I Am Considering Buying WBALX, And Would Like Any And All Opinions About The Fund!!! My Reason For Considering This Fund Is I Like Its High Cash Allocation And Low Bond Allocation.


  • edited August 2013
    Looks like a good fund. Wasn't familiar with it, so did a quick look; the only possible flag I can come up with is a fairly steep drawdown in 2008, greater than the two low-risk, large blend, all-stock funds I own. WBALX is a growth fund so a little more drawdown might be expected, but even there, as an allocation fund, it lost as much as the all-stock growth fund SEQUX. It looks more all-cappy than SEQUX, so maybe that explains it.
  • Well, I suggest a look hard(er) at FPACX, JABAX, and ICMBX. I myself would prefer all of them. I owned some Weitz funds for the longest time back when, till I came to see that his judgment was not so solid.
  • I'm sorry but I don't know what is there to like about this fund - WBALX. Never made it past benchmark / peer group in its life.
  • The Reason Im Considering This Fund Is Because Im Risk Adverse. Morningstar Shows Them 49.17% Cash - 42.95% Stocks - 7.88% Bonds. I Would Appreciate Any Other Funds People Think I Should Buy Instead Of WBALX. In My Balanced Funds Holdings, I Own ICMBX, MAPOX, GLRBX, BERIX, FPACX, OSTVX, WHGIX, GRSPX. The Fund I Want To Sell To Buy WBALX Is JPVTX
  • edited August 2013
    IMHO you are getting wrong idea about WBALX being risk averse. If I may suggest some more funds, for you to research.

    FWIW, I own each of them in either taxable or retirement accounts. Also I don't think I will be getting rid of these funds other than to swap them between accounts.

    LCORX / GLBLX (maybe you look at only one of them)
    HSTRX (it has already taken "gold" loss, downside could actually be lower now)
    VWELX (even with its heavy bond position I feel more comfortable than WBALX, but I accept I'm looking to sell)

    The following I do not own, but I think better than WBALX

    PRWCX (I have/might own again at some point in portfolio i manage for family member)
  • edited August 2013
    "Never made it past benchmark / peer group in its life."

    I don't have a horse in this race whatsoever, but that statement is clearly not true.

    See here, halfway down the page, under "Performance." Lower numbers in the percentile rankings mean it beat its benchmark. The only period shown where it's not ahead of benchmark is one month. For five years, so including the late '08 supercrash, it's in the top decile. From the M* Performance page, the only year it didn't beat its benchmark since the crash was 2012.
  • WBALX looks like a good fund. I agree with @AndyJ. Its performance is just fine.
  • Reply to @ducrow: My opinion is you don't need another balanced fund. I probably would invest more in one of the other funds you already have. GRSPX, GLRBX and BERIX are all conservative balanced funds, and pretty good ones at that. If conservative is what you are looking for, I'd add to one of those, not buy another conservative, some what mediocre fund.
  • Reply to @MikeM: Thanks For Your Reply, The Reason I Want Another Balanced Fund Is Because I Like To Hold 20 Funds With 5% Allocated To Each Fund. By Allocating My Money Via 20 Funds, It Keeps Me From Falling In Love With Any One Fund, And Allocating A lot Of Money To It, And Then Have That Fund Fall Of A Cliff. (been there, done that)
  • edited August 2013
    Reply to @AndyJ: I just looked at everyone's favorite website - Morningstar. The color line for WBALX didn't seem to rise above the peer and moderate allocation category lines. If only I was smart enough to know how to link picture. Maybe someone else can do that?

    In any event, this is not just about performance. And past performance no guarantee of future results and all that. Philosophically, Weitz brand of value is NOT conservative. It is more like that Miller brand of value, which IMHO is not really a value. WBALX to me seems like wolf in sheep's clothing. I feel more happy about predictability of other "balanced" funds doing what they say instead of WBALX.
  • Reply to @ducrow: I'm probably in the minority, but I absolutely don't have any problem with the way you are thinking. Your kind of "diversification" IMO is better than what any single fund professing to do so will give you.

    More power to you. I'm thinking similar, but more in terms of "go anywhere" funds rather than "balanced" funds.
  • edited August 2013
    Reply to @ducrow: When you want to spread 20 funds and that to just with balanced funds, try to create a portfolio of balanced fund with different investment philosophies so that they complement each other. Agree, you might not get 20 funds with different philospohies/mandates but you can add couple of them in each category to make your port diversified.

    For example,

    FPACX (go anywhere; flexible)
    PRWCX (Largely domesetic value fund; Experiments bonds side with convertibles, etc)
    VWELX (a typical US balanced fund; stick to 60/70-40/30 ratio between stocks and bonds; LV/LV focus on stocks side; Stick to traditional bond investing,
    focussing on intermediate)
    DODBX (ditto as VWELX)
    OAKBX (multi-cal strategy with converative bond investing style)
    BERIX (smallcap focus with a bit on the high yield side on bonds)
    JABLX (not checked recently but used to be LG tilted balanced fund)
    Trow price personal strategy funds (all of them are LG focussed)
    BRBPX (Uses hedging)
    and many more.

    You can pick and choose from the above list; For example, if you are choosing DODBX, there is no point in choosing VWELX.

    Plus you can choose Global allocation funds; Obviously a bit more risky but still better for you as you want conservative funds

    PQIDX (more stocks and very less bond %ages, at least now)
    There could be many more, you can find in this space.

    You can also think of adding some hedged, tactical, L/S funds that this group recommends here.
  • edited August 2013
    Reply to @VintageFreak: I agree with you about it not really being a risk-averse fund, but the numbers don't lie about performance vs. the benchmark. "Never made it past benchmark ... in its life" was just plain wrong.

    On the graph you linked, change the time frame to 1, 3, and 5 years, and WBALX consistently beats the benchmark. There were apparently some years in the ancient past when it was a loser vs. the benchmark, but it's been a winner on that basis for years now.

  • Reply to @mrc70: I Do Try To Buy Balanced Funds That Are All Doing Different Things, I Also Own Some Global Funds, JNBSX, TIBIX, PQIDX, MTOIX, PAUDX. For Long Short I Own MFLDX, WBMIX
  • Reply to @AndyJ: okay we have to agree to disagree on what time frame to chose. Clearly you cannot argue with the picture I linked. If you chose to go back only 5 years, that's your call. However, that does not make me wrong.
  • Reply to @ducrow:
    This guarantees you will match an index like VBINX **at best**. There is a good statistical article on this just this week, forget if it is Marketwatch, M*, or where. You will *never* outperform with 20 balanced funds, or even six. I mean, stick it in AOR and call it a day.
  • Reply to @davidrmoran: I Dont Have 20 Balanced Funds, I Have 20 Funds. Some Are Global, Some Are Long Short. One Is A International Fund. From 2008 To 2012 VBINX Returned 26.44%, WBALX Returned 30.79%. ( i just bought wbalx )
  • Reply to @VintageFreak: Yes it does. For the third time I will quote you, and if you don't understand the English language, I can't help you:

    "Never made it past benchmark / peer group in its life."

    The statement is CLEARLY not true. Look up the meaning of the word "never."
  • Reply to @AndyJ: Ooooh...that's what this is about? Me no speak Ingles?
  • Reply to @VintageFreak: All done attempting to engage with you. Adios.
  • Reply to @AndyJ: Best news I heard all year.
  • Reply to @ducrow:

    That too. You may be chasing too hard, I suggest. And you do own 9 such, by your account. Probably counterproductive.

    I will see if I can find the statistical article about too many of a good thing. It may even have been a link from this forum.

    Your behavior will almost invariably blunt the good individual work of each decisionmaker, e.g., Romick, James, Weitz, et alia. It does not work like a Dream Team. Check your average return of all 9 over the next 5 years (if you do hold them all that long) against a couple individually, and report.
  • I am surprised no body mention VILLX.
  • The Reason I Have Never Bought It Is Because I Think It Will Drop Like A Rock In A Bad Market, And Since I Know No One Can Time The Market I Like To Stay Fully Invested, But I Dont Think I Could Hang On To VILLX During A Bear Market And Would Probley Sell It At The Bottom, And Then Loose Out On Its Rise. In 2008 I Stayed Fully Invested. The S&P Lost 38.5% In 2008, My Portfolio Lost 22.8%
  • Reply to @davidrmoran: I Originaly Looked At WBALX Back In 2004 - I Was Not Impressed, In 2008 They Did Not Stand Up Well And Lost A Lot, But I Think The Manager Has Gained Some Seasoning, And Learned By His Mistakes. At Least I Hope So!!!
  • First, let me say I don't buy the traditional measure of volatility = risk. However especially for balanced fund, I think volatility of returns should be considered, because one expects to buy/hold/DCA into them over longer periods of time.

    I don't have the math for it, but I would think intuitively a fund that's less volatile will compound better or at least has a chance of compounding better. And when you bring reversion to the mean into the picture, I can't feel sanguine about WBALX or VILLX.

    And by the way, yes, I'm waiting for semi annual report from AQR. If they don't have it on their website by end of the month, I would have my answer. Even otherwise they would need to tell a good story. If they didn't have manager investment I would have sold already (or rather would never have bought in the first place).
  • edited August 2013
    Reply to @VintageFreak: Based on available history WBALX has performed OK. Looking at its bond portfolio orientation and heavy cash allocation it can hold better in increasing rate environment. Another fund that has positioned itself a bit for that sort of environment is BUFBX. This one was once known as Buffalo Balanced, now Buffalo Flexible Income. Compared to WBALX, BUFBX is more value leaning in equities.

    Today I am selling my holdings in FRIFX and tomorrow will probably invest in BUFBX. FRIFX has performed not very well in the past month.
  • I found something. I have started a new thread, since I think it goes beyond balanced funds and is generally applicable.
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