In a year when the markets are posting double-digit declines, it is good to remember the phrase attributed to Warren Buffett that only when the tide goes out is it discovered who was swimming naked. This aphorism, applied to investment funds, could be applied to the long-term profitability of their managers, which becomes more imperative in times of crisis. And then it is discovered that many of the best performing collective investment vehicles, in the conservative categories, are Spanish.
The problem is that most investors do not know them, because by having a Spanish ISIN (the exclusive registration number used to identify each product) their marketing in other distribution networks than those of their bank – the usual channel of purchase for an investor – is an almost impossible mission, if you do not go to certain platforms.
In some cases, they are even funds belonging to financial entities, so their sale is limited to their clients. And a few of these products, although backed, are actually private banking client strategies that are not actively traded, although any eligible investor can purchase them.
But compared to their competitors, both from other Spanish managers and those from international firms, they achieve a very long-term performance that places them at the top of their category. In many cases, these are mixed funds , those that are more suitable for a conservative investor, so their profitability data stands out even more.
Among the mixed products classified as aggressive by Morningstar, those that can allocate a greater part of their portfolio to equities, are Bestinver Mixto , with 5.79% annualized over 20 years, and Bona Renda , from GVC Gaesco, with 4 .89%, which are among the top five in their group for profitability in this period of time. The first belongs to one of the most recognized independent firms by investors, although its flagships are pure stock market products, such as Bestinver Bolsa or Bestinver Internacional , while the second belongs to one of the most deeply rooted firms, especially in Catalonia. .
If aggressive mixed but with a global strategy are considered, Fontibrefondo , from Santander AM, stands out, earning 6.02% annualized over twenty years, the second best product of its group.
Among the flexible mixed funds, four Spanish funds hold the top positions for twenty-year annualized returns. This is Inverbanser, another product from the Santander catalog, which leads its category in this period of time with 5.17% , followed by Espinosa Partners Inversiones , with 4.43%, Fondcoyuntura , from Renta 4, with 3 .7 %, and Welzia Coyuntura , with 3.66%.
The first, managed by atl Capital, can have an exposure to equities of up to 100%, although this usually ranges between 30%-60% , they say at the firm. “The current exposure is approximately 30%, since it covers part of the portfolio with futures of the European EuroStoxx 50 index. Regarding the selection of securities, it incorporates actions that it sees as driven by fundamentals, but taking into account the macroeconomic situation. It currently has a blend-value bias and is overweight in pharma and basic resources. It has practically no currency risk”, comments Félix López, partner and director of atl Capital.
The Welzia fund, which was created in 1991, is heir to Foncafix, which was managed by Arcalia Inversiones, a team to which the current co-manager of the vehicle, Rafael Vilarrasa, belonged. After the creation of the firm Egeria Activos in 2011 , the fund was renamed Egeria Coyuntura, a monent in which José Gregori joined as co-manager. After the merger of Egeria Activos with Welzia Management to date, the fund continues to maintain the same management team.
“Welzia Coyuntura has lived through different economic cycles, but has always remained faithful to its investment philosophy, characterized by its global character. Depending on the economic situation, we can invest the portfolio in equities up to a maximum of 75%. Companies that listed in Europe are the most represented.
The rest of the assets are invested in fixed income, with no duration limit or credit rating. Currently, given the complicated macroeconomic scenario, it shows a cautious positioning with a portfolio that has exposure to equities around to 60% and where we can find companies like Novo Nordisk, Capgemini or LVMH among its main positions”, point out those responsible.
Within the global flexible mixes, Rural Multifund 75 Standard appears , with 3.46%, Abante Asesores Global , with 3.41%, Gesrioja , managed by Trea AM (inherited after the acquisition of Novo Banco), with 3 .38%, and Renta 4 Delta , with 2.72% among the ten most profitable.
In the group of moderate mixed funds , GVC Gaesco’s Financialfond , with a twenty-year annualized return of 4%, Caixabank Fonduxo Universal , with 3.99%, Santalucía Fonvalor Euro , with 3.49%, Gesconsult León Valores Mixto Flexible A , with 3.27%, Caixabank Mixto RV 50 Universal , with 2.85%, and March Paribas Global Asset Allocation , with 2.71% can also boast of being among the ten most profitable in their category, although the rest of the products of the group that has this history of life are also Spanish.
A circumstance that is also repeated within the global moderates, led by Patribond , of the manager Patrivalor, with 5.13% annualized over 20 years. Merch-Universal , with 4.10%, Fonprofit , from Gesprofit, with 3.28%.
The Gesconsult León is one of the oldest investment strategies, since at the beginning it was managed through one of the first sicavs that were registered in Spain, until it began its journey as a fund in 1991. It has a replica in Luxembourg , the Gesconsult Flexible Equity and offers an annualized return since its inception of 3.82%.
Gonzalo Sánchez, investment director of the manager , explains that the fund’s flexibility has allowed it to take advantage of the revaluation of the equity or fixed income market depending on the market situation. “During recent years it has been more difficult to find value in the debt part, although now there are opportunities again. Currently the exposure to the stock market is around 52%,but the fund can reach up to 70% within its investment range.
Although we are living under pressure from the fallout from inflation, the Ukraine war, and the energy price shock, and normalization is taking a long time and losing visibility, we are invested in companies that can perform very well in a challenging environment. of recession due to the quality of its business and which form part of the core of the fund’s portfolio”, Sánchez underlines.
Caixabank’s Fonduxo is a product inherited from Bankia and one of the best-performing long-term products of managers of financial entities. “It is a fund with high discretion when making investments in equities and fixed income, focused on Europe, although without giving up other markets, where it can dedicate around 20% of its assets. The investment selection process is based on an in-depth analysis of the markets from both a fundamental and technical point of view.
The versatility in the investment process together with the speed to make changes in these assignments, adapting to market conditions in a very flexible way, are the key to its remarkable evolution. For example, in 2011 and 2020, with a Eurostoxx showing negative returns, the fund was able to obtain positive results,” says its manager, Manuel Miguel Sanabria.
Merch Universal, for its part, belongs to the historic firm Merchbanc, which Andbank acquired four years ago. It is a mixed fund that has a global portfolio, “with an eclectic style: neither growth, nor value, nor cyclical, nor defensive, which is born from a deep knowledge of values, key in an artisanal selection based on fundamental criteria “, assures Marian Fernández, head of Macro at Andbank Spain, who underlines that it is a low-rotation product, with conviction management that is reflected in outstanding weights in some names.
“In the first positions we arewith the best of the Merchfund equity selection -which also belongs to Merchbanc-, together with a greater defensive profile, either with more weight in securities of this type also present in Merchfund (Axa, Roche), or incorporating other spreads.
The fixed income strategy is a ladder strategy, with low duration risk and maintenance of the bonds until maturity. It has corporate issues of high credit quality (2022-2024 bonds) and government issues, mainly Spanish bills and short American terms, with recent entries in German debt,” Fernández points out.
more cautious profile
Among the most conservative mixed funds, those with a cautious profile, according to Morningstar’s terminology, are Bestinver Patrimonio , with a 20-year annualized return of 5.18%, Fondonorte , from the management company Gesnorte, with 2.921%, Sabadell Urquijo Patrimonio Private 2 , with 2.41%, Ibercaja Gestión Evolución , with 2.31%, Caixabank Mixto RF 30 Universal , with 2.29%, Fonemporium , with 2.2%, Gesconsult Renta Fixed Flexible A , with 2%, and Gestifonsa Mixto 25 Base, with 1.98%
And among the global cautious, Artac Fund , managed by Santander AM, with 2.86%, and Dalmatian , which was managed by UBS Management (now integrated into Singular Bank), with 2.3%, are the only Spanish funds which are among the ten most profitable at twenty years, although March Portfolio Max 45 A also appears in the first quartile , with 2.18%, CS Director Bond Focus , managed by the local manager of Credit Suisse in Spain, with a 2.17%, GCO Mixto , from Catalana Occidente, with 2.1%, or Ibercaja Sustainable and Solidarity , with 2.04%, also appear among the best.