Monthly Performance Report: June 2023
In the month of June, the Fund rose 2.9% (after fees) to close out the quarter with a positive return of 3.1% (after fees). This compares to the Small Ords returns of 0.0% for the month and -0.5% for the quarter.
The portfolio is relatively concentrated. It is focused on companies that are experiencing step changes in their business prospects due to recurring business situations that are typically underestimated by the market. Major themes include the roll out of best in class medical products, retail concepts that are expanding despite consumer headwinds, and resource companies benefitting from the challenges of electrification and energy. Our level of exposure to technology stocks is currently low.
Monash Investors was established in 2012, and over that time 91% of the stocks in our portfolio have been Small Companies in that they have been outside the S&P/ASX 100. At the end of this update we include a table that shows the Fund’s performance over the 12 years since we started. We have beaten Small Ords over all time periods except the last financial year.
The biggest two contributors to our returns this month were Impedimed (ASX: IPD) up 28% as it continues to be adopted by USA healthcare payors to monitor cancer patients for lymphedema, and Temple and Webster (ASX: TPW) up 24% which continued to recover from being sold down heavily during the previous month on unfounded fears of weak furniture sales.
The only significant detractor was Johns Lyng (ASX: JLG) down 16% which fell on a trading update where it upgraded its full year guidance. The problem was that the upgrade was driven by extra building work responding to catastrophes, rather than from its business as usual work (BAU) which was flat, as the market has come to expect upgrades in BAU prior to year-end.
Per capita discretionary consumer spending continues to be under a lot of pressure due to increasing energy prices and mortgage rate / rent increases. On the other hand there are more consumers than ever with immigration at record levels, and government spending is also increasing, funded largely by taxing record commodity revenues.
So, despite the dramatic rise in interest rates this year it may be that Australia avoids a recession, which is generally defined as two quarters of negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the country as a whole. Australia’s GDP actually rose 0.2% in the most recently reported quarter, with domestic demand the primary contributor.
Often in life things are not as bad (or as good) as they seem. The noise around the economy and what it means for stock market investors is an example of this. As investors we have to keep things in perspective when we weigh the outlook for stocks as businesses and their valuations.
This can be a hard thing to do given intentionally dramatic media stories and commentary, as well as the daily economic releases and company announcements we read. At Monash Investors we do it by focusing on stocks that we think are undergoing positive step changes in their businesses, assisted by us identifying recurring business situations or patterns of behaviour.
Given our overwhelming exposure to small cap stocks, going forward we will be re-naming the portfolio to reflect this. This will help us position the fund as a product that is relevant to a larger number of investors.
We will not be changing our investment philosophy or approach but we will be making some minor changes. To better reflect to investors what we actually do, we will be narrowing the very wide risk limits of the portfolio to ranges consistent with how the portfolio has actually operated. For the Fund we will phase out pre-IPO investments to bring it in line with our listed fund, Monash Absolute Active Trust (Hedge Fund) (ASX: MAAT). And we will limit our cash holdings to a maximum of 10% at any time, compared to the 20% they have averaged since our inception. For more information on these changes please refer to the notice sent to unitholders on 5 June 2023.
Return Summary Since Inception1(after all fees)
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1Inception date of Fund is 2 July 2012.
The Monash Absolute Investment Fund ARSN 606 855 501 (Fund) seeks to implement the investment strategy by investing in a diversified portfolio of predominantly Australian equities (long and short), with overseas assets expected to average no more than 5% over time.
The investment strategy is Benchmark Unaware and there is no predetermined asset allocation; rather, the Fund only invests when suitable opportunities are identified. As such, asset exposures may vary significantly over time and without notice.
The Fund seeks to only invest in compelling opportunities. To identify these investment ideas, Monash Investors primarily employs fundamental, bottom-up company research and the judgement of its experienced portfolio managers.
Key Fund Information
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Important Information This document is prepared and authorised for release by Monash Investors Pty Limited ABN 67 153 180 333, AFSL 417 201 (“Monash Investors”) as authorised representatives of Sanlam Private Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 18 136 960 775, AFSL 337 927 (“Sanlam”) for the provision of general financial product advice in relation to the Monash Absolute Active Trust (Hedge Fund) ARSN 642 280 331 and Monash Absolute Investment Fund ARSN 606 855 501 (“Funds”). Monash Investors is the investment manager of the Funds. The Trust Company (RE Services) Limited ABN 45 003 278 831, AFSL 235 150 (“Perpetual”) is responsible entity of, and issuer of units in the Funds. A Product Disclosure Statement (“PDS”) together with a Target Market Determination (“TMD”), both issued by Perpetual, is available for the Funds at www.monashinvestors.com. You should obtain and consider the PDS and TMD for the Funds before deciding whether to acquire, or continue to hold, an interest in the Funds. The Funds are appropriate for investors with “High” and Very High”” risk and return profiles. A suitable investor for the Funds is prepared to accept high risk in the pursuit of high growth with a medium to long investment timeframe. Investor should refer to the TMD for further information. The information provided is general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice, it does not consider your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. You should consider your own investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs before acting upon any information provided and consider seeking advice from a financial advisor if necessary. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. No company in Perpetual Group (Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 and its subsidiaries) guarantees the performance of any fund or the return of an investor’s capital. You should not base an investment decision simply on past performance. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Returns are not guaranteed and so the value of an investment may rise or fall. Total returns shown have been calculated using using NAV prices after taking into account all ongoing fees and assuming reinvestment of distribution. No allowance has been made for taxation. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Comparisons are provided for information purposes only and are not a direct comparison against benchmarks or indices that have the same characteristics as the Funds. Reference to Target Distributions, is a target return only. There is no guarantee the Funds will meet its investment objective. The payment of a quarterly distribution is a goal of the Funds only and neither Monash Investors or Perpetual provide any representations or warranty (whether express or implied) in relation to the payment of any quarterly cash income. The Funds reserves the discretion to amend its distribution policy.
The rating issued 09/21 APIR MON0001AU is published by Lonsec Research Pty Ltd ABN 11 151 658 561 AFSL 421 445 (Lonsec). Ratings are general advice only, and have been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Consider your personal circumstances, read the product disclosure statement and seek independent financial advice before investing. The rating is not a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any product. Past performance information is not indicative of future performance. Ratings are subject to change without notice and Lonsec assumes no obligation to update. Lonsec uses objective criteria and receives a fee from the Fund Manager. Visit lonsec.com.au for ratings information and to access the full report. © 2021 Lonsec. All rights reserved.
The rating contained in this document is issued by SQM Research Pty Ltd ABN 93 122 592 036 AFSL 421913. SQM Research is an investment research firm that undertakes research on investment products exclusively for its wholesale clients, utilising a proprietary review and star rating system. The SQM Research star rating system is of a general nature and does not take into account the particular circumstances or needs of any specific person. The rating may be subject to change at any time. Only licensed financial advisers may use the SQM Research star rating system in determining whether an investment is appropriate to a person’s particular circumstances or needs. You should read the product disclosure statement and consult a licensed financial adviser before making an investment decision in relation to this investment product. SQM Research receives a fee from the Fund Manager for the research and rating of the managed investment scheme.
The Zenith Investment Partners (ABN 27 103 132 672, AFS Licence 226872) (“Zenith”) rating (assigned MON0001AU June 2021) referred to in this document is limited to “General Advice” (s766B Corporations Act 2001) for Wholesale clients only. This advice has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any individual and is subject to change at any time without prior notice. It is not a specific recommendation to purchase, sell or hold the relevant product(s). Investors should seek independent financial advice before making an investment decision and should consider the appropriateness of this advice in light of their own objectives, financial situation and needs. Investors should obtain a copy of and consider the PDS or offer document before making any decision and refer to the full Zenith Product Assessment available on the Zenith website. Past performance is not an indication of future performance. Zenith usually charges the product issuer, fund manager or related party to conduct Product Assessments. Full details regarding Zenith’s methodology, ratings definitions and regulatory compliance are available on our Product Assessments and at http://www.zenithpartners.com.au/RegulatoryGuidelines