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5 Mutual Funds to Get Defensive With

Where to put your money if you're convinced the bear is coming

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Marketfield (MUTF:MFLDX) is a macro fund, which means that it tries to capitalize on major investment trends. Some examples include purchasing capital goods stocks when there is unptick in the economy, or shorting airline stocks when fuel prices spike.

MFLDX takes positions through numerous stocks and ETFs, fixed-income instruments, commodities, futures and options. This type of flexibility has helped Marketfield generate fairly stable returns over the years. Consider that during 2008, the fund’s portfolio manager, Michael Aronstein, shorted the banks — and as a result, the fund only sustained 12.88% loss for the year. For 2011, the fund has continued to post strong results, with a gain of 11.2%.

Marketfield currently has long positions in areas such as small caps (through iShares’ IWM fund) and transportation companies (through IYT). Shorts include bets against investments in China (through the FXI) and Canada (shorts include Central Fund of Canada (AMEX:CEF) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX)).

Morningstar currently considers MFLDX a five-star fund. Expenses of 1.56% are middle-of-the-road, and it doesn’t have a load charge.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPOPlaybook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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