Hated. And Loving It!

Conventional wisdom holds that straying from the pack can be filled with pitfalls. As contrarian investors, we take a different view.

This video explains how going against consensus may mitigate risk and lead to greater upside potential.

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Heartland Advisors Value Investing Research Analyst Andrew Fleming

Andrew J. Fleming

Fleming, CFA, is Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Value Plus Fund and its corresponding separately managed account strategy. He has 8 years of industry experience, 5 at Heartland.


As value investors, we’re very focused on companies with strong safety net. 

What I mean by that is that is we’re looking at companies that have strong balance sheets and low leverage ratios on one side. But also companies that are hated by the street. This provides the potential for future upgrades by sell-side analysts down the road. 

We’re really focused on companies that have a high number of holds and sells as opposed to buys. This is evidenced by the chart here.

Average Analyst Rating for Value Plus Fund Portfolio Holdings

Heartland Value Plus Fund portfolio holdings chart

Source: Heartland Advisors, Inc. and FactSet Research Systems Inc., 3/31/2011 to 3/31/2017

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The Value Plus Fund invests in small companies that are generally less liquid and more volatile than large companies. The Fund also invests in a smaller number of stocks (generally 40 to 70) than the average mutual fund. The performance of these holdings generally will increase the volatility of the Fund’s returns.

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