William Blair On Global Fundamental Value Investing

William Blair Gets Fearless

Brian Singer, CFA, Partner, Head of Dynamic Allocation Strategies Team at William Blair sits down with Julie Cooling, Founder & CEO, RIA Channel to discuss multi-asset, macro investment solutions. Singer discusses global market opportunities, protecting downside risk and the geopolitical trends driving various markets.

There’s no sense fearing bad headlines and populist politics. That’s a rookie mistake. Advisors want to avoid downside risk, but it’s the beat up markets that get William Blair fund manager Brian Singer excited. That’s where the opportunities are and always will be.

Singer manages a team of top down, macro analysts reviewing the best indices to buy, and the best futures contracts to short. “We are investing where there are downside risks and geopolitical developments,” he says. “There are a lot of elections in Europe through 2018 that will be pivotal to the future of the euro. Those are where the opportunities are and that is where we tend to be buying.”

Singer gives three country names, plus broad emerging markets as favorites. “We are selling safe havens,” he says. Some U.S. and Japan securities are an underweight or a short in their Macro Allocation Fund (WMCIX), a long term, risk adjusted, total return fund that invests globally. The fund tries to provide equity-like returns with less volatility over a market cycle of between five to 10 years with a market beta of 0.3.

As of April 30, the fund was 38.5% cash, according to Morningstar. Within its top 25 holdings, you’re getting shorts in S&P 500 minis and 10 year Treasury futures; a long position in the iShares Russell 1000 Value (IWD) and longs in the iShares MSCI India (INDA) and VanEck Russia (RSX) ETFs.

To give viewers an idea of the dynamic, opportunistic nature of the Macro Allocation Fund and the decisions the team makes and why, see the chart produced here. It’s a look back at some of the more pivotal points in the fund’s five-year history.