|3Q21||1 Year||3 Year||5 Year||Since
*Inception Date: November 2, 2015
Performance data represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. Performance data current to the most recent month end are available on our website at www.EnsembleFund.com.
Fund Fees: No loads; 1% gross expense ratio.
On March 20, 2020, the day before the bottom tick of the COVID driven market crash, Ensemble Capital, advisor to the Fund, held a public conference call in which we discussed how it was the tying together of the global economy that had given rise to so much global prosperity and such a massive decline in global poverty. But it was this same interconnectivity that the COVID virus was now using to encircle the globe. You can find a transcript of that conference call here. Today, we want to revisit this theme to discuss why we see so much new value being created in the years ahead, value that our portfolio of companies are helping to develop.
The past few months have made it clear that one of the greatest challenges the world has seen in modern times, a once in a century global pandemic, continues to be very challenging to resolve as new Coronavirus variant waves have continued to spread. It continues to cause great tragedy in the lives lost, numbering over 4.5 million globally and over 700,000 in the US alone and continues to disrupt people’s lives and behaviors the world over.
As with many tragic experiences in life, it is also demonstrating the power of humanity’s ability to rise to great challenges with creativity, ingenuity, and cooperation, both in developing new inventions to solve problems and in our ability to coordinate large groups of people and resources to deal with them. Never before have we been able to design, test, manufacture, and distribute billions of doses of new drugs around the world, all in the span of a year.
In fact, over 6 billion doses of vaccines have been administered globally to nearly 40% of the world population, an amazing feat of modern science and logistics. However, much work remains to be done in vaccinating a substantial proportion of the remaining 60%, without which they and we all remain threatened with the ongoing pandemic that threatens us with new variants selected to try skirting our increasing collective immune defenses.
Fortunately, vaccines have worked remarkably well in preventing severe disease and deaths despite the mutating virus, providing hope for a future where COVID is no longer a widespread health threat. Among populations with the majority of individuals vaccinated, we’ve seen the economic activity of people substantially remain steady despite the new variant driven surges as people have learned to adapt their behaviors in the face of a second year of the pandemic. This is part of the resilience of people and societies we’ve come to observe.
It’s not that humanity has not faced such challenges before. In fact, the effects of deadly infection had been the historical norm prior to modern medicine’s discovery of vaccination and antibiotics as well as innovations that disinfected water and managed sewage. It’s the reason child mortality approached nearly 50% historically regardless of one’s status in life, be it emperor or servant, but has plummeted over the decades.
“Nathan Rothschild was surely the richest man in the world when he died in 1836. But the cause of his death was an infection—a condition that can now be treated with antibiotics sold for less than a couple of cents. Today, only the very poorest people in the world would die in the way that the richest man of the 19th century died.” -Max Roser, Our World in Data
But we have been so privileged to live during a time that benefitted from the invention of modern medicines and public infrastructure that have kept the most pernicious infections at bay for a large majority of the developed world population and growing segments of the developing world.
Modern day social and technological structures are also what allowed billions of people around the world to take shelter at home for weeks while also being able to work and provide for their families. They were able to utilize technological infrastructure that had been built over only the past two decades. The government and monetary responses are also a form of innovation that was able to respond and effectuate actions at a speed and scale that allowed millions of people and businesses to bridge through the Shelter in Place orders without the economic devastation they would have otherwise experienced, compounding the public health tragedy.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund. You may obtain a prospectus at www.EnsembleFund.com or by calling the transfer agent at 1-800-785-8165. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing.
Important Risk Information
An investment in the Fund is subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. There can be no assurance that the Fund will be successful in meeting its objectives. The Fund invests in common stocks which subjects investors to market risk. The Fund invests in small and mid-cap companies, which involve additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility. The Fund invests in undervalued securities. Undervalued securities are, by definition, out of favor with investors, and there is no way to predict when, if ever, the securities may return to favor. The Fund may invest in foreign securities which involve greater volatility and political, economic and currency risks and differences in accounting methods. Investments in debt securities typically decrease in value when interest rates rise. This risk is usually greater for longer-term debt securities. More information about these risks and other risks can be found in the Fund’s prospectus. The Fund is a non-diversified fund and therefore may be subject to greater volatility than a more diversified investment.
Distributed by Rafferty Capital Markets, LLC Garden City, NY 11530.