The sicav with manager 'amateur' beats its 7,000 rivals by renting 15% | Markets

The sicav with manager 'amateur' beats its 7,000 rivals by renting 15% | Markets

In Spain there are 1,700 investment funds, 2,500 pension plans and 2,700 variable capital investment companies (sicav). More than 95% of all these vehicles will end 2018 with losses. Among the few that will have positive profitability there is one that stands out above the rest. Is about Smart Social Sicav. Is managed by a amateur and has achieved an annual return of 15.2% thanks to betting that the stock markets would fall with force.

The one in charge to decide where to invest the 30 million of the patrimony of the sicav is Antoni Fernández Serrano. He is a self-taught manager, without any formal training in financial matters, but "with More than 40,000 hours of monitoring of financial markets", He explains.

Every morning at eight o'clock he turns on his computer, in a town near Vic (Barcelona), to see the evolution of the Asian Stock Exchanges. At nine in the morning he is already operating, in complete solitude, until his day ends at 10 o'clock at night.

"My office is almost in the middle of the forest. I think it is necessary to isolate oneself from the noise and the daily noise of the markets; concentration is paramount, "says Fernández.

Open to all audiences

Quoted in the MAB. Smart Social Sicav is the SICAV with the largest number of shareholders in Spain and one of the few that maintains the original spirit of this investment product. By having more than 500 shareholders it is easy to buy their shares, which are listed on the Alternative Stock Market (MAB), a trading platform owned by Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME).

Buy from a bank. The shares of Smart Social Sicav can be contracted from any of the big banks, as well as from Deutsche Bank, Andbank, Inversis and from the management companies like Tressis, Ahorro Corporación, Renta 4. Interested parties have to give the identification number of the shares , available on the firm's website: You can hire from the price of one share, which is now at 7.4 euros.

The success of this sicav is not a flower of a day. Since it was launched on May 5, 2015 it has achieved an aggregate return of 24.3%. Its gestation took place on the margins of the large banks and asset managers. A group of investment fans decided to create a contest called Incubator of Managers, to find the best amateur manager. 40 people showed up, and their investment decisions were monitored for two years.

The jump of a amateur contest A real project occurred when the organizer, José Sánchez Molero, promised to contribute 100,000 euros so that the winning manager could demonstrate his capabilities in the real market. Molero managed to convince 500 people to put money and create a sicav, which started with a capital of 2.4 million.

Antoni Fernández won the contest and, in passing, achieved a job as manager. The management company of the SICAV is Inversis Banco and has a management mandate in the securities company GPM, which, in turn, hired Fernández as manager of the SICAV.

José Sánchez Molero became president of Smart Social Sicav, which now has 900 small shareholders, but does not receive any compensation. "I have promoted this project because I believe in it. We have shown that we can offer returns above the vast majority of managers. My wish is for the SICAV to maintain its original spirit and attract more small investors. The sicav does not have to be a vehicle for millionaires, "explains Molero.

The key to achieving a 15.2% return when the stock markets of the United States, Europe and Japan have collapsed has been taking short positions. With the use of financial derivatives, as future options on the Dax, the Nasdaq or the Ibex 35, Fernández opted for the fall of these markets.

During the 2017 fiscal year, I already maintained this investment thesis, but it was a year where the stock markets were quite good and there was little volatility. The value of Smart Social Sicav fell and criticism intensified. In contrast, in 2018, the strong correction that Fernandez had been waiting for several quarters has reached its full extent.

"As the indices have fallen to the levels expected by Toni, he has decided to replicate the investments and now we keep 80% of the portfolio in liquidity, waiting for what investments to take for 2019, "says Molero.

Despite the remarkable success of the sicav, Molero and Fernandez will not celebrate. "We almost never go to events, talks or courses," says the manager. "And we're not going to do anything especially for the results of this year, just work to keep them next year."


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