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Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Investment results and principal value will fluctuate so shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investors should be aware of the additional risks associated with investments in non-diversification, undervalued or overlooked companies and investments in specific industries. Additional risks may include those associated with investing in foreign securities, emerging markets, and companies with relatively small market capitalizations.
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as of 03/31/19
After steep losses to end the year, global equity markets rallied sharply, and U.S. large-cap equities participated fully, registering the best start to the year since 1998. Investors appeared to have shrugged off concerns over declining earnings growth, weakening economic data, and the continued lack of a resolution in U.S.-China trade negotiations, choosing instead to focus on more attractive valuations. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell abruptly reversed course, returning the U.S. monetary policy back to its “data dependent” path and, in the process, signaling more accommodative interest rates for the foreseeable future. We would argue that it was that change, more than anything else, that caused the first quarter equity rally.
Against this backdrop, Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Fund increased in the quarter. All sectors added to performance, with Information Technology (IT), Consumer Discretionary, and Health Care holdings contributing the most. With 10 out of 12 investments posting double-digit gains, IT had a strong quarter. Performance was led by electronic payment vendor Worldpay, Inc., global payment network Mastercard Incorporated, and outsourced software development provider EPAM Systems, Inc. Shares of each rose after the company reported quarterly results and 2019 guidance that exceeded investor expectations. In addition, Worldpay’s late March announcement of its intent to be acquired by Fidelity National Information Services drove share price gains in that company. Amazon.com, Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. led positive performance of the Consumer Discretionary sector. Amazon and Alibaba were the top and second largest contributors, respectively. Third largest contributor Veeva Systems Inc. led gains in Health Care. Sage Therapeutics, Inc., which develops novel drugs for central nervous system disorders, was another noteworthy contributor after its share price increased more than 66% on news of several positive developments, including promising clinical trial results for lead assets in postpartum depression and major depression.
Every day we live and invest in a world full of uncertainty. 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.
Our goal remains to maximize long-term returns without taking significant risks of permanent loss of capital. We focus on identifying and investing in what we believe are unique companies with sustainable competitive advantages that have the ability to compound capital at high rates of return for extended periods of time. We are optimistic about the long-term prospects of the companies in which we are invested and continue to search for new ideas and investment opportunities.
as of 03/31/19
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.