Sharp Decline in Fidelity OTC Fund; Manager Staying Disciplined and Sticking to Plan

Financial Advisor (FA) reports that Fidelity’s Over the Counter (OTC) Portfolio “is taking a beating . . . that is nearly unrivaled in the U.S. mutual fund industry.” After finishing 2015 up 10.92%, the $12 billion portfolio of more than 200 stocks was down 22.70% as of last week. Further indication of how extreme the flip has been: fund manager Gavin Baker has a three-year average return better than 98% of his peers, but the fund’s 2016 returns are worse than 98% of its peers. FA points to sharp declines in technology and healthcare stocks as a major reason for the disappointing numbers. Baker summarized his view: “You keep your head and stick with your plan,” adding, “It’s beyond absurd to rethink the five to 10 year outlook for e-commerce.” He noted some of the sharp declines, but said, “those price movements feel very divorced from the underlying fundamentals of these companies.” Morningstar’s Susan Wasserman suggests Baker is likely to stay the course: “Overall, his top 10 holdings have been there a long time.”