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as of 12/31/20
2020 will undoubtedly go down in history for many things. We think one of them will certainly be the compressed and violent market cycles. Stocks continued the prior year’s rally uninterrupted until the peak on February 12, suffered an unprecedented decline over the next five weeks until the trough on March 23, and then staged an equally unprecedented recovery over the next nine months through the end of the year.
Amazingly, and despite everything that happened, 2020 turned out to be year in which it was hard to lose money as long as one had the courage to remain invested through the downturn. Most equity indices were up double digits, both domestically and globally. Growth companies continued to be in favor, driven by lower interest rates and in many cases rapidly improving business fundamentals. COVID-19 proved to be a strong accelerant for companies that enable modernization and digital transformation, many of which we are invested in.
Against this backdrop, Baron Global Advantage Fund increased in the fourth quarter to end the full year up more than 79%, its best year-long performance since its 2012 inception. Information Technology (IT), Health Care, and Consumer Discretionary contributed the most. No sector materially detracted in the quarter. With 21 holdings that saw double-digit gains, IT had a strong quarter. Positive performance within the sector was led by Twilio, Inc., a Communications-Platform-as-a-Service company whose shares increased on broad strength due to accelerated digitization trends as a result of COVID-19, including 50%-plus revenue growth. Health Care also had a good quarter, with double- or triple-digit gains in 10 out of 12 holdings. Zai Lab Limited, a leading biotechnology company in the growing Chinese health care market, was the top performer within the sector after shares continued their strong run alongside the Chinese health care indices. MercadoLibre, Inc. and Fiverr International Ltd., respectively the second and third largest contributors, led performance within Consumer Discretionary.
Every day we live and invest in an uncertain world. Well-known conditions and widely anticipated events, such as Federal Reserve rate changes, ongoing trade disputes, government shutdowns, the unpredictable behavior of politicians the world over, and even, as we have seen, global pandemics, are shrugged off by the financial markets one day and seem to drive them up or down the next. We often find it difficult to know why market participants do what they do over the short term. The constant challenges we face are real and serious, with clearly uncertain outcomes. History would suggest that most will prove passing or manageable. The business of capital allocation (or investing) is the business of taking risk, managing the uncertainty, and taking advantage of the long-term opportunities that those risks and uncertainties create. We are confident that our process is the right one, and we believe that it will enable us to make good investment decisions over time.
as of 12/31/20
as of 12/31/20
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the investment carefully before investing. The prospectus and summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the Funds. You may obtain them from the Funds’ distributor, Baron Capital, Inc., by calling 1-800-99BARON or visiting www.BaronFunds.com. Please read them carefully before investing.
The performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate; an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. The Fund’s transfer agency expenses may be reduced by expense offsets from an unaffiliated transfer agent, without which performance would have been lower. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted.
Risks:All investments are subject to risk and may lose value.
The discussion of market trends is not intended as advice to any person regarding the advisability of investing in any particular security. The views expressed on this page reflect those of the respective writer. Some of our comments are based on management expectations and are considered “forward-looking statements.” Actual future results, however, may prove to be different from our expectations. Our views are a reflection of our best judgment at the time and are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions and Baron has no obligation to update them
Portfolio holdings are subject to change. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk.
The index performance is not fund performance; one cannot invest directly into an index.