Quality Investing: Its Impact During Down Markets

Quality Investing: Its Impact During Down Markets

Investment Insights: Fenimore’s Latest White Paper

William Preston, Portfolio Manager of the FAM Dividend Focus Fund, discusses how Fenimore’s mutual funds have performed in down markets over the decades and analyzes their quality characteristics.

Highlights Include:

  • Achieving long-term investment goals usually depends on staying invested during down markets and having an established risk management process.
  • The downside capture ratio of Fenimore’s three equity mutual funds helps quantify the benefits of our risk management approach.
  • Fenimore Asset Management conducts firsthand research and seeks to invest in select, quality businesses. We believe it is our holdings’ collective quality characteristics that have helped our mutual funds typically outperform during down markets.

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Will Preston


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FAM Small Cap Fund: WSJ Category King – Once Again

FAM Small Cap Fund: WSJ Category King – Once Again

The FAM Small Cap Fund was recognized as a “Category King” in The Wall Street Journal* for the second consecutive month.

“It’s an honor to be recognized again; however, the credit is owed to our team and Fenimore’s market-tested investment approach that has been refined over the past 48 years,” said Kevin Gioia, Portfolio Manager of the FAM Small Cap Fund. “We look forward to continuing to serve our shareholders as we seek to invest in what we believe are quality businesses that can produce strong returns over time.”

FAM SMALL CAP FUND DETAILS

THE QUEST FOR QUALITY SMALL CAP STOCKS

Kevin Gioia

*The FAM Small Cap Fund (Investor Class Shares) was listed in the “Small-Cap Growth” category. “Category Kings in 16 Realms” selection criteria: “Top-performing funds in each category, ranked by year-to-date total returns (changes in net asset values with reinvested distributions) as of Oct. 31; assets are as of Sept. 30. All data are final.” Oct., year-to-date, 1-year, and 5-year performance are shown in the listing. The FAM Small Cap Fund is listed as number three in this year-to-date ranking out of 740 funds.  

Securities offered through Fenimore Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC, and advisory services offered through Fenimore Asset Management, Inc.


Past performance is not indicative of future results. All investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. Before investing, carefully read the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. FAM Funds’ prospectus or summary prospectus contains this and other important information about FAM Funds and should be read carefully before you invest or send money.

To obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus and performance data that is current to the most recent month-end for each fund as well as other information, please go to fenimoreasset.com or call (800) 932-3271.

The principal risks of investing in the fund are: stock market risk (stocks fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and to general stock market and economic conditions), stock selection risk (Fenimore utilizes a value approach to stock selection and there is risk that the stocks selected may not realize their intrinsic value, or their price may go down over time), and small-cap risk (prices of small-cap companies can fluctuate more than the stocks of larger companies and may not correspond to changes in the stock market in general).

Neither this presentation nor any of its contents may be distributed or used for any other purpose without the prior written consent of Fenimore. The description of certain aspects of the market herein is a condensed summary only. This summary does not purport to be complete and no obligation to update or otherwise revise such information is being assumed. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not otherwise intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to purchase, any security or other financial instrument. This summary is not advice, a recommendation or an offer to enter into any transaction with Fenimore or any of their affiliated funds. This presentation may contain statements based on the current beliefs and expectations of Fenimore’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Any references herein to any of Fenimore’s past or present investments, portfolio characteristics, or performance, have been provided for illustrative purposes only. It should not be assumed that these investments were or will be profitable or that any future investments will be profitable or will equal the performance of these investments. There can be no guarantee that the investment objectives of Fenimore will be achieved. Any investment entails a risk of loss. Unless otherwise noted, information included herein is presented as of the date indicated on the cover page and may change at any time without notice.

Securities offered through Fenimore Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC, and advisory services offered through Fenimore Asset Management, Inc.

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Fenimore Leadership Transition

Fenimore Leadership Transition

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    Fenimore Asset Management Names Christian Snyder as President, Succeeding Retiring Debra Pollard.

    Fenimore Asset Management, an independent, Capital Region-based investment advisory firm and manager of the FAM Funds family of mutual funds, announces the appointment of Christian Snyder, J.D., CFA®, as President. He succeeds Debra Pollard who is retiring from Fenimore at the end of 2022 after a tenure of more than 30 years, the last six as President.

    Ms. Pollard will leave after incomparable service to our investors, associates, and community. Mr. Snyder will work closely with Fenimore Founder and Executive Chairman Tom Putnam, Chief Executive Officer John Fox, and the management team to guide the 48-year-old firm into the future.

  • Christian Snyder

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“Fenimore prides itself on attracting and retaining associates who share our strong values, distinctive investment philosophy, and dedication to service excellence. Deb and Christian exemplify these traits,” said CEO John Fox.

“Deb’s contributions to our firm are great and enduring. She is a dear friend and we wish her all the best as she moves into a new phase of life!”

“Christian has nearly two decades of experience in the financial services industry along with a solid track record of leadership and integrity. We are excited to have him on the team and look forward to working together to further our mission of preserving and growing our investors’ capital over the long term.”

Mr. Snyder, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®), joins Fenimore after five years as Chief Operating Officer of the Wealth Strategies Group at Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management. Prior to that, he served three years as Associate Counsel and then Deputy General Counsel for the company. Mr. Snyder holds a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Colgate University. He and his family reside in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Founded in 1974, Fenimore Asset Management is an independent, nationally recognized investment manager with more than $3.6 billion in assets under management (as of 9/30/2022) through its Cobleskill and Albany offices. Fenimore offers both individually managed portfolios and a family of mutual funds (FAM Funds) that can be used for retirement and other long-term investment planning. The firm’s team focuses on in-depth research, investing in carefully selected quality businesses, and providing its investors with highly personalized investment services.

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WSJ Category King – FAM Small Cap Fund

WSJ Category King – FAM Small Cap Fund

The FAM Small Cap Fund was just recognized as a “Category King” in The Wall Street Journal.*

“We are proud to receive this recognition,” said Andrew Boord, Portfolio Manager of the FAM Small Cap Fund. “At the same time, we don’t focus on categories or consider the portfolio to be a growth fund. Our focus is on researching and owning what we believe are quality companies that can grow and produce attractive returns over the long term.”

Learn more about the FAM Small Cap Fund

FAM SMALL CAP FUND DETAILS

THE QUEST FOR QUALITY SMALL CAP STOCKS

Andrew Boord

*The FAM Small Cap Fund (Investor Class Shares) was listed in the “Small-Cap Growth” category. “Category Kings in 9 Realms” selection criteria: “Top-performing funds in each category, ranked by one-year total returns (changes in net asset values with reinvested distributions) as of Sept. 30; assets are as of Aug. 31. All data are final.” Year-to-date, 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year performance are also shown in the listing. The FAM Small Cap Fund is listed as number five on this one-year ranking out of 729 funds.  


Past performance is not indicative of future results. All investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. Before investing, carefully read the fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. FAM Funds’ prospectus or summary prospectus contains this and other important information about FAM Funds and should be read carefully before you invest or send money.

To obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus and performance data that is current to the most recent month-end for each fund as well as other information, please go to fenimoreasset.com or call (800) 932-3271.

The principal risks of investing in the fund are: stock market risk (stocks fluctuate in response to the activities of individual companies and to general stock market and economic conditions), stock selection risk (Fenimore utilizes a value approach to stock selection and there is risk that the stocks selected may not realize their intrinsic value, or their price may go down over time), and small-cap risk (prices of small-cap companies can fluctuate more than the stocks of larger companies and may not correspond to changes in the stock market in general).

Neither this presentation nor any of its contents may be distributed or used for any other purpose without the prior written consent of Fenimore. The description of certain aspects of the market herein is a condensed summary only. This summary does not purport to be complete and no obligation to update or otherwise revise such information is being assumed. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not otherwise intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to purchase, any security or other financial instrument. This summary is not advice, a recommendation or an offer to enter into any transaction with Fenimore or any of their affiliated funds. This presentation may contain statements based on the current beliefs and expectations of Fenimore’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Any references herein to any of Fenimore’s past or present investments, portfolio characteristics, or performance, have been provided for illustrative purposes only. It should not be assumed that these investments were or will be profitable or that any future investments will be profitable or will equal the performance of these investments. There can be no guarantee that the investment objectives of Fenimore will be achieved. Any investment entails a risk of loss. Unless otherwise noted, information included herein is presented as of the date indicated on the cover page and may change at any time without notice.

Securities offered through Fenimore Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC, and advisory services offered through Fenimore Asset Management, Inc.

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Letter From Cobleskill: Autumn 2022

Letter From Cobleskill: Autumn 2022

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    Dear Fellow Shareholder,

    As the leaves begin to change color in Upstate New York and the nights become chilly, my fall routine kicks into gear. The first thing I do is call my perennial firewood supplier to negotiate the price and place an order. After much friendly banter during our recent call, this hard-working entrepreneur said that there will be a large price increase in 2022. Higher labor, gasoline, truck and equipment maintenance, and overall operational costs give him no choice but to raise the price. This pattern is being repeated throughout our economy.

    So, it’s not surprising that shareholders are primarily asking us the following questions:

    1. Are we in, or headed for, a recession?
    2. What does this mean to me and my investments?
  • FAM Letter From Cobleskill Autumn 2022

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1. RECESSION OR NOT?

There is a current debate about the official definition of a recession. Whether we are technically in a recession or not, there’s no doubt that most consumers are feeling the pain of higher interest rates and high inflation.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession’s start and end dates. It relies on government information that takes time to compile, so it cannot officially designate a recession until after it starts. At the same time, the NBER’s research shows that, from February 1945 to June 2009, recessions averaged 10.8 months in duration and the expansionary periods that followed averaged 60.2 months.

Since no one knows how much longer this difficult environment will last, it can understandably create apprehension. After many conversations about this first question, however, we’ve come to understand that shareholders are ultimately seeking an answer to the second question.

2. WHAT ABOUT MY FAM FUNDS INVESTMENTS?

If you’re wondering if your FAM Funds investments are strong enough to weather the downturn, we believe the answer is “yes.” Our goal is to invest in quality businesses that have a strong balance sheet and manageable debt; cash profits to invest in growth or pay dividends; a distinct competitive differentiator; and a talented and ethical management team.

We want these companies to be positioned to not only perform well in good times, but to endure the most challenging economic conditions — and even increase market share — while emerging on the other side poised for future growth.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Fenimore’s research analysts continue to visit businesses, tour facilities, and have face-to-face meetings with management teams of existing holdings and prospective investments. During the month of September alone, we had 32 meetings throughout the U.S. and 8 phone calls.

This firsthand, in-depth, company-level research provides invaluable insights that help us gain a better understanding of the current challenges facing businesses while reinforcing our confidence in our holdings’ abilities to persevere and potentially thrive during a variety of environments. We believe we have a collection of quality companies that can build wealth over the long term.

HELLO AND GOOD-BYE

Fenimore is pleased to welcome Christian Snyder as our new president. He succeeds Debra Pollard, who announced her retirement after 30 years of service to our investors, associates, and community. A Cobleskill native, Deb returned to her hometown after college. During her tenure, Deb earned a steady series of promotions culminating in her appointment as president in 2016. She will remain here to help with the transition over the next few months. Deb is a dear friend and we wish her all the best as she moves into a new phase of life!

Christian joins us after working in the financial services industry for nearly two decades, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer of the Wealth Strategies Group at Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management. He will work closely with our management team to help guide the firm. Christian earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Colgate University, law degree from Suffolk University Law School, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He and his family live in Saratoga Springs, NY.

STAY IN TOUCH

Whenever you have questions about your investments, please contact us. Everyone has unique needs, plans, and life circumstances. For example, you may be relying on your investments to pay bills or preserve your principal, or you may be in a position to purchase more mutual fund shares while stocks are on sale.

Through one-on-one conversations, we can get to the heart of your financial objectives, explain your options, and give you the information and confidence you need to make an educated decision. Our associates are invested alongside you, so we are sensitive to your concerns and goals.

Please remember that our team is here for you at our Cobleskill and Albany offices, by phone at 800-932-3271, or via email at info@fenimoreasset.com.

Thank you for your trust and friendship.

Sincerely,
John D. Fox, CFA
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

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Fenimore Names Yolanda Caldwell to FAM Funds Board of Trustees

Fenimore Names Yolanda Caldwell to FAM Funds Board of Trustees

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    Fenimore Asset Management, an independent, Capital Region-based investment advisory firm and manager of the FAM Funds family of mutual funds, announces that Yolanda P. Caldwell, Chief Diversity Officer at The College of Saint Rose and a business consultant, has joined FAM Funds’ Board of Independent Trustees.

    In her role at Saint Rose, Ms. Caldwell oversees the development of goals, strategies, and performance measures for inclusion and culture change. She also serves as director of The Women’s Leadership Institute and BOLD Women’s Leadership Network at the college.

    Additionally, Ms. Caldwell is owner and senior strategist at Titus Enterprises, LLC, an Albany-based business consulting and event management firm she founded in 2002.

  • Yolanda Caldwell

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Prior to Saint Rose, Ms. Caldwell served as associate director of The Research Foundation for the State University of New York and in a number of leadership roles with Prudential Insurance Company of America and at Seton Hall University.

“Yolanda is a results-oriented executive with extensive experience serving on and working with corporate and not-for-profit boards, and providing consulting services to small businesses and community organizations,” said Tom Putnam, Founder and Executive Chairman of Fenimore Asset Management. “Her business acumen and skills should benefit our FAM Funds shareholders over the long term.”

Founded in 1974, Fenimore Asset Management is an independent, nationally recognized investment manager with more than $4.03 billion in assets under management (as of July 31, 2022) through its Cobleskill and Albany offices. Fenimore offers both individually managed portfolios and a family of mutual funds (FAM Funds) that can be used for retirement and other long-term investment planning. The firm’s team focuses on investing in carefully selected quality businesses and providing its investors with highly personalized investment services.

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Investor Update — June 2022

INVESTOR UPDATE — JUNE 2022

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    On Friday, June 10, the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed inflation accelerated to a 40-year high in May, with the CPI increasing 8.6% year-over-year.1 This was an increase from April and halted any hope that the U.S. economy had reached “peak” inflation.

    Impact of Oil Prices

    One of the biggest contributors to surging inflation is the price of oil. At approximately $115, the price of a barrel of WTI oil is up 60% year-over-year and more than 20% since the start of the Russia-Ukraine War in late February.2 (WTI stands for West Texas Intermediate, which is a pricing benchmark commonly used for the oil industry.)

    The impact of rising oil prices is most evident to consumers at the gas pump. In the May CPI report, gas prices were up 49% year-over-year, representing roughly one-quarter of the total increase in the CPI!3 Of course, higher gas prices also drive up shipping costs and airfare.

  • William Preston, Portfolio Manager - FAM Dividend Focus Fund

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    William Preston, CFA
    Portfolio Manager,
    FAM Dividend Focus Fund

But transportation isn’t the only way higher oil prices reverberate throughout the economy. Oil has derivatives that are inputs for thousands of products ranging from plastic and packaging to clothing and medicine. This can lead to broad-based increased costs for consumers.

Impact of Inflation

Higher-than-expected and persistent inflation has forced the Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) to step-up how aggressively it fights inflation. The Fed combats inflation by raising interest rates in hopes of slowing consumer demand.

Last Wednesday (June 15), we saw this aggressiveness in action when the Fed announced its largest rate hike since 1994 (0.75 percentage points). While good for fighting long-term inflation expectations, in the short term, higher interest rates have led to lower stock valuation multiples and increased the probability of an economic recession and the potential for a reset in corporate earnings. This has pushed the market returns into bear market territory with the S&P 500 declining -24% since its all-time high on January 3, 2022.4

No one knows how much longer the bear market will last or if/when the U.S. economy will enter into a recession as a result of inflation and higher interest rates. What we do know is that recessions and bear markets do not go on forever and they have often presented us with opportunities to invest with better long-term return prospects.

Firsthand Research Gives Us Confidence

At Fenimore, we never try to avoid an economic slowdown. Instead, our research team spends its energy on finding and owning what we believe are quality companies that can weather economic turbulence and emerge from volatile periods even stronger. This includes businesses with strong, sustainable cash generation, sound balance sheets with little financial leverage, and capable management teams.

Over recent weeks, our research team has been busy on the road meeting with management teams face to face. It’s these in-person meetings — a longtime tenet of Fenimore’s research process — that help us gain a better understanding of the current macro challenges facing companies while reinforcing our confidence in our holdings’ abilities to persevere and potentially thrive during a variety of economic environments.

Looking Ahead

During these uncertain times, we’d like to reiterate what we stated in our May Investor Update. Our team tells you with certainty that we remain committed to Fenimore’s investment philosophy and principles that have successfully guided us through difficult times since 1974. We believe that our holdings will partake in future growth because their management teams are focused on shareholder interests and they possess strong financial footings to help them endure the current decline and prosper when the markets recover.

Stay Connected

If you have any questions about your investments, please connect with us at 800-721-5391, through our website’s contact us section, or via info@fenimoreasset.com. Our team also welcomes you to meet with us in either our Albany or Cobleskill location or virtually.

Thank you for your ongoing trust and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer.

——

1 bls.gov

2 FactSet, as of 6/16/2022

3 bls.gov, as of 6/10/2022

4 FactSet, as of 6/16/2022

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Celebrating Shannon Almy

Celebrating Shannon Almy

We applaud Shannon for receiving the “Georgia Van Dyke Award” from the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce! She was recognized for generously dedicating her time and talent to the chamber and community over many years. It is no surprise to her Fenimore teammates that Shannon’s strong personal character was also a factor that the judges considered.

Congratulations Shannon!

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Joe LeRoy Joins Fenimore Asset Management

Joe LeRoy Joins Fenimore Asset Management

Joe LeRoy, CFP®, has joined Fenimore Asset Management’s growing team as an Investor Relations professional. Fenimore is an independent, Capital Region-based investment management firm and manager of the FAM Funds family of mutual funds.

Mr. LeRoy works alongside investors sharing Fenimore’s distinctive and understandable investment approach and helping them achieve their long-term financial goals. Previously, he was Vice President of Workplace Solutions at Goldman Sachs Ayco Personal Financial Management leading business development for financial wellness services to Fortune 500 clients. Mr. LeRoy has more than 18 years of financial services experience, holds the CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM) designation, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government from Saint Lawrence University.

“Joe’s knowledge, experience, and commitment to service and building relationships will benefit our investors,” said Liza Baran, Director of Shareholder Services. “He is an excellent and valued addition to our team.”

Founded in 1974, Fenimore Asset Management is an independent, nationally recognized investment manager with more than $4.2 billion in assets under management (as of March 31, 2022) through its Cobleskill and Albany offices. Fenimore offers both individually managed portfolios and a family of mutual funds (FAM Funds) that can be used for retirement and other long-term investment planning. The firm’s team focuses on investing in carefully selected quality businesses and providing its investors with highly personalized investment services.

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Joe LeRoy, CFP®


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Thomas O. Putnam founded Fenimore in 1974 with two passions: conduct in-depth, firsthand, independent investment research and serve investors with excellence and integrity. Today Fenimore Asset Management, manager of the FAM Funds, is nationally recognized, yet locally rooted and independently owned. Decades have passed, but our approach endures.

Securities offered through Fenimore Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC,
and advisory services offered through Fenimore Asset Management, Inc.

© Fenimore Asset Management. All Rights Reserved.