The FMI International Fund (FMIJX – $28.88) performed well in the March quarter, gaining 1.67%, which compares with MSCI EAFE Index declines of 6.52% in local currency and 3.01% in U.S. Dollars. Year-to-date, the fund is positive by 2.45%. Holdings in the finance, electronic technology and consumer durables sectors boosted the fund’s relative performance, while transportation, energy, minerals and retail weighed on the results. Individual holdings were led higher by Rolls-Royce, Accenture and Admiral Group, while SMC Corp., Bolloré and Hyundai GreenFood underperformed. The global macro outlook continues to be muddled, according to the managers of the fund. Debt is still rising at a rapid pace, economic growth is weak and central bank policies are becoming more radical and desperate by the day. With these issues as a backdrop, FMI International is cautiously optimistic and believes their holdings are well positioned. Geographically, the fund is overweight in the United Kingdom, U.S., Japan, Canada and Europe, including countries comprising the Eurozone. As of March 31, the top ten holdings – comprising about 35% of the total – were as follows:
The breakdown by sector weighs heavily in industrial stocks, consumer staples and consumer discretionary. And the fund as of March 31, had 13.4% of its assets in cash and cash equivalents, as seen below:
Positions of FMI International in a well-diversified conservative account with an allocation of about 8% remains warranted.