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Making sense of Marketfield Mainstay Fund Options

edited February 2014 in Fund Discussions
Since the institutional shares are closed, what subclass of this fund is best for low expenses and operating fees. Their website lists several classes including A, Inv, C, P, R2 and R6 but I need a concise summary as to which would be preferable for a long term investment with dollar cost averaging. I also invest through Fidelity and TDAmeritrade and would like to avoid a transaction or sales fee.



  • Dear JimJ: Normally I wouldn't recommend paying a load, but if this is long-term investment, pay the 5.5% load for the A shares and be done with it. The other option is buying the C shares with a 1% deferred load, (holding less than a year), but the C shares expense ratio is almost twice that of the A shares. The P, R2, and R6 shares are for deferred comp. plans.

  • Class P shares are specifically designed to be offered through fund supermarkets:
    Class P shares are only available to investors purchasing shares through a no-load transaction fee network or platform that has entered into an agreement with NYLIFE Distributors LLC, the Fund's principal underwriter and distributor or its affiliates to offer Class P shares through a no-load transaction fee network or platform. Class P shares have no initial or subsequent investment minimums.
    From prospectus.

    Class P shares have a lower ER (no 12b-1 fee) than Class A or Inv shares (A/Inv shares are virtually identical except that A shares typically require a $25K min) both of which come with a load. You can see this difference in the reported one year performance: 16.87% (Class P), vs. 16.62% (Classes A and Inv), reflecting the 0.25%/year 12b-1 fee in the latter. (Figures from NYLife website.)

    For some reason, Mainstay also claims (in the prospecutuses) that the cost the fund incurs for shorting stocks is nearly a full percent lower for P shares than for A shares (1.18% vs. 2.14%). (This difference makes no sense however, and I would suggest further study.)

    Regardless, the absence of a 12b-1 fee, and the absence of a load, makes purchasing P shares through a supermarket cheaper than purchasing load shares (unless you're purchasing over $1M worth, in which case the load is waived).

    At Fidelity
    , you can establish an initial position for $49.95, and then DCA automatically at $5/transaction. You don't escape the commission, but you can keep it pretty low. Other brokerages may offer DCA for even less (or zero).

  • MFLDX is closed. Otherwise, msf offered a good overview.
  • edited February 2014
    MFLDX was the original share class, which were closed when the fund was bought by Mainstay and were kept at the same terms. If they have re-opened since then, maybe. MFLDX is still showing as closed to new at Ameritrade, Schwab and Fidelity.
  • Reply to @scott: Based on your initial statement "MFLDX is closed" and further research that indicates this is not true, I afraid you'll need to visit the woodshed and assume the position. Don't worry you can think of Zero Hedge and Bitcoin as you feel the pain. Its all part of growing up.


    Kevin Bacon: Assume The Position and repeat MFLDX is not Closed:
  • edited February 2014
  • edited February 2014
    Have to paddle your own arse this time.

    Fido still notes closed for its clients, to original offering of this fund As has been the case since the Marketfield to Mainstay sale.

    P share class
  • edited February 2014
  • If he finds a video clip for that I may even watch it. Or not.
  • edited February 2014
    Reply to @catch22: Thanks. Taking a break from posting here, I think.

  • Reply to @scott: Is that a promise !
  • Awesome discussion, that's what I come to MFO for. It sounds like the P shares may be the way to go.

  • Reply to @JimJ: Is that a bit of sarcasm I sense? Good luck in your research and choices.
    From last paragraph of Marketfield's year end commentary.My emphasis.
    As many of you are aware, the fund has experienced remarkable asset growth during the past year. We are acutely aware that this is not
    a good portent for ensuing performance.
    Our style and methods of execution remain deliberate and long-term, as they have been from day
    one. They are now matters of necessity as well as inclination, but the day-to-day processes within the firm have not changed. Results will
    continue to depend upon our ability to gain some differentiable insight into the complex macroeconomic processes that drive changes in
    capital assets’ pricing and output.
    Posted earlier on this site.The year end letter.
  • I've owned Marketfield since before the Mainstay takeover so I now have the I shares. And I apologize if this question is off-topic, but can you please explain the appeal of this fund? I've been disappointed with both the performance and the high expenses (yes, even for the I shares). Perhaps I should offer to sell you some of my I shares?
  • Reply to @scott: I hope you will reconsider that thought now that the kabosh has been placed on incessant video links here. Most of us do want a good discussion.
  • Reply to @scott: I hope you will reconsider. I am certainly no fan of the oneupsmanship that some posters constantly practice, especially when it distracts from legitimate discussion. Nor of comments that may be interpreted as belittling. If a short break allows you to reset your thoughts though, by all means take some time.


  • MFLDX certainly has not disappointed, and it has performed pretty much as expected in that it participates in up markets to some extent, and it is much less volatile in down markets. Management is as smart and talented as it gets. They have made some big calls over the fund's history, and for the most part they have been right. As for the expenses, I totally agree they are too high. With the funds move to the Mainstay umbrella, assets have grown exponentially, from $4 Billion to $16 billion, but expenses have hardly budged at all. While we continue to hold the fund in many client accounts, we are not happy about the expenses being about 20% greater than funds one-tenth as big. On the other hand, MFLDX has done a good job of managing risk, especially when compared to a dog like HSGFX or long-time laggard GATEX. FMLSX has a much lower cost and might be an ok option for someone looking for a no-commission fund.
  • I am invested in MFLDX, mostly because of their success in 2007-2009 and steadiness thereafter. However, I guess I am not alone in being nervous about their ability to repeat their performance in the future as they become less nimble. I wonder whether the new Robeco Global L/S fund BGLSX or BlackRock Global L/S Equity BDMAX/BDMIX can be a good alternative. (BDMAX is available without load at Schwab).
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