A Fund that Profits from Investor Mistakes

A recent Barron’s article offers a profile of Raife Giovinazzo, a former student of Nobel Laureates Daniel Kahneman and Richard Thaler, who has managed the $370 million Fuller & Thaler Behavioral Small-Cap Equity Fund since 2013.

The fund, which the article says, “employs the principles of behavioral finance,” has risen nearly 17% per year over the past five years, beating 99% of its small-cap fund peers. According to the article, Giovinazzo argues that “behavioral mistakes are particularly rife in the small-cap stock pool, where investors make bigger errors because they tend to have less information and companies generally receive less scrutiny than your Alphabets and Apples.”

Giovinazzo buys companies with market caps of less than $5 billion with a focus on those showing significant insider buying. “If the company’s fundamentals are sound and investors are fleeing while insiders are buying,” the article says, “Giovinazzo concludes that the crowd is making an emotionally-fueled mistake.”

According to Giovinazzo, “There is nothing like the fear of losing money to make people panic.”