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JASVX - James Alpha Structured Credit - 30 mos, only 1 neg

edited March 2021 in Fund Discussions
JASVX has a mix of structured credit. Per JAN-2021 Fact Sheet:

RMBS (26.4%)
CORP (18.9%)
CLO/CDO (16.3%)
Cash (14.4%)
CMBS (13.5%)
Govt (8.0%)

In it's short 30 month life, JASVX has had only 1 negative calendar month (-6.3% in March-2020).

Bucking the trend so far this year, it has managed a +2.6% return YTD. It had posted +9% and +13.7% returns in the prior 2 calendar years.

Would I be performance chasing if I slanted my Bond allocation towards this fund? Is this the type of fund that could easily implode if the U.S. housing situation falls apart?

Any comments appreciated.


  • edited March 2021
    Short Life. I like longer lifes. In short life... still trailed the S&P 500 and that's a benchmark I compare all funds to. On the plus side its APR vs Peer is positive. But I would wait to see more history before I would invest in this fund. But Note: I'm on the conservative side. I always prefer a longer history on funds unless I'm looking at it for my speculative lottery casino have fun with it... like I do with some limited Bitcoin experiments - which are up 10% YTD ... imagine that.
  • edited March 2021
    JonG, this mutual fund is considered a multi-sector Bond fund that seeks to outperform the U.S. aggregate Bond index, but with lower volatility. It focuses mainly on MBS (mortgage backed securities).

    Not sure it would be fair to compare this fund to an Equity index (S&P 500).
  • I share JonG's conservatism, though mine is based on additional concerns.

    The fund is submanaged by Orange Investment Advisors. The day-to-day managers of the fund are the Orange ones: Jay Menozzi and Boris Peresechensky. Both came over from Semper where they worked together. IMHO that's the first clue about the kinds of risks one might expect with this fund. Not that SEMMX didn't do well when they were there, but that they may manage in a style (or part of the market) that does well until it doesn't.

    Then there's the fund family James Alpha. A dozen funds, mostly in non-mainstream categories: Long Short Equity, Long Short Bond, Market Neutral, four Multialternatives, two Options Based, a Managed Futures. Then there's its largest fund, a Global Real Estate fund (80% of the family's AUM), and this one.

    M*'s analysis of the family is consistent with what one might guess from this lineup. The family is a liquid-alt shop with expensive funds. Five funds were launched in 2017, and two others were liquidated in the past couple of years.

    These are the reasons I would tread carefully.

    Regarding the numeric comparisons:

    - I don't find anything magical about 0% return; I would much rather have a fund that lost a quarter point in each of a few months and did well in the others than a fund that chugged along earning little in most months and never having a losing month.

    - Until this year M* classified the fund as nontraditional. In comparing with its peers, are people comparing against its newfound peers or funds in its nearly lifetime category? For that matter, I have more general issues with comparing nontraditional funds, as that category is somewhat of a grab bag for funds that don't fit elsewhere.

    - JASVX's 2019 return was 8.97%, per M*.

    Its prospectus (and M*) report that the 2019 calendar year return for the cheaper (I) share class JSVIX was 7.31%. I get concerned when numbers that should be very similar aren't close. Needs more research.

  • msf, thanks for digging into this fund and pointing out some red flags. Nice catch on the inconsistent Class returns from 2019. Appreciate your take.
  • I wouldn't put my life savings into this fund but I do own it as a satellite position and pleased so far. Even though it's short-lived it did great in the COVID drawdown (max DD 6.33) compared with IOFIX (max DD 37.95% during the same swoon). I'd say that's pretty good for CAGR of 10.68% and Sharpe of 1.5% since inception.
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