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There are still many investment opportunities in undervalued large-cap US companies across all industries. These opportunities are set to be further enhanced by selecting US companies that show long-term competitiveness and profitability. The stock market is reasonably efficient but emotional enough to provide opportunities for disciplined investors. In an environment where liquidity is abundant and money is cheap, it may be allocated with somewhat less discipline than when money is expensive. In an environment where liquidity is contracting and money is more expensive, investors are more discriminating about allocating it and they care more about valuations.
AJO is an independent, entrepreneurially driven investment adviser founded in 1984 by Ted Aronson. The firm is a limited partnership that is wholly employee-owned by seventeen active principals. While being value-oriented, the team believes superior results are best achieved by considering not only value, but also management, momentum and sentiment. Security analysis is more productive when value is gauged relative to a company’s peers. Valuation within and diversification among industry peer groups therefore constitute core pillars of the process. AJO focuses on well-managed companies with quality cash profits, relatively low market valuations, positive price and earnings momentum, and favourable market sentiment. The portfolio is optimised to diversify multi-faceted risks.
Theodore R. Aronson is the Managing Principal & Founder at AJO and has been with the firm for more than 33 years. He holds an MBA and a BSc and is the former chair of the CFA Institute (formerly AIMR), and a Chartered Investment Counselor.
Small caps have distinct risk/return characteristics that can enhance returns over time. Small caps are also more nimble and quicker to adjust their strategies in response to market changes than larger companies. The strategy is a diversified portfolio based on the combination of a quantitative model and fundamental research. The process overlays control measures and limits sector and industry group, and individual stock weights. The team uses the quant model to narrow the focus and then apply fundamental analysis. The fund benefits from the leverage that comes from the model’s view over the entire market while adding value with the depth of fundamental research on the names that will be selected for the portfolio.
Mark Stoeckle is the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Portfolio Manager with more than 35 years of business experience. He has held several positions in international asset management and advisory companies and holds a BA and an MBA.