Christopher Devlin, founder and chief investment officer of Selective Wealth Management, put together the best-performing fund of the first quarter. However, he did not mean it for the fund to be so tech-heavy.
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“That was not part of the overall plan,” said Devlin, who created the fund in January of last year. “As we analyze the investing landscape, we try to look for businesses that can grow earnings over the next five-to-10 years. We found a lot of those companies were in tech.”
“We weren’t trying to ride the tech wave here,” Devlin said.
The fund’s high exposure to tech paid off, nonetheless. The Selective Opportunity Foundation fund (SLCTX) returned 14.39 percent to investors in the first quarter, the highest among funds tracked by Morningstar. It is made up of 10 stocks, eight of which are in the technology sector.
The fund’s top five holdings include MuleSoft, Syntel and Google-parent Alphabet Class C as of Jan.31, according to Morningstar. Those three stocks hold a total weight of 34.22 percent in a fund with $45.8 million in assets under management. MuelSoft spiked nearly 90 percent higher in the first quarter after Salesforce agreed to buy the company for $6.5 billion.
Devlin’s fund was not the only one to benefit from being highly exposed to tech, however. Of the five best-performing funds of the quarter (including SLCTX), four have high exposure to tech.
Tech stocks hold a 27.24 percent weight on the five-star rated PrimeCap Odyssey Aggressive Growth Fund (POAGX), while the Virtus KAR Mid-Cap Growth Fund Class I (PICMX) has 33.81 percent of its holdings in tech.
The Berkshire Focus fund (BFOCX), meanwhile, has 67.9 percent of its portfolio in technology. The exception is the Copley Fund (COPLX), which does not hold any tech stocks.
Tech shares have been leading the broader U.S. stock market higher for more than a year. Over the past 12 months, the S&P 500 technology sector is up more than 25 percent. In that time, the S&P 500 has gained more than 10 percent.
However, tech has come under pressure following a slew of negative news for some of the key companies in the space. Facebook has fallen more than 10 percent this month amid concerns on how the company deals with the data it collects from users.
The decline has weighed on the broader sector and has raised concerns about whether tech can continue its run higher in the near future.
“It depends on all sorts of factors,” said Tony Thomas, an analyst at Morningstar. “Tech has obviously had a great run.” He said, however, that the fund managers he has talked to recently see Facebook’s and tech’s decline as a buying opportunity. “Fundamentally, managers aren’t seeing problems in these companies.
Devlin of Lynchburg, Virginia-based Selective also said he welcomes the recent volatility in tech. “Short-term investors should think more long term, he said. “As we see more volatility in the tech sector, it’s easier to find more opportunities” to invest in the space.