10 Stocks to Buy Owned By the Top Female Portfolio Managers in America

Citywire magazine helps mutual fund portfolio managers and investors make better investments. In June, it released its list of the 20 best female portfolio managers in the U.S. Unfortunately, the magazine didn’t give you the best stocks to buy that are held by these investment professionals.

I want to make up for that honest omission. 

With that in mind, I will highlight one stock from each of the top 10 ranked portfolio managers on Citywire’s list. 

As the article points out, only 9% of U.S. mutual fund portfolio managers are women. Worse still, that number has barely budged over the years, despite the obvious fact that there are a lot of men out there who are terrible portfolio managers.

Yet they have these jobs and women don’t. As an investor, you should care deeply about this injustice. I know I do. 

Politics aside, here are 10 stocks to buy that are featured in portfolios managed by some of the most successful women in finance:

  • MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI)
  • Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Sea (NYSE:SEA)
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE:TSM)
  • Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
  • Shopify (NYSE:SHOP)
  • Dechra Pharmaceuticals (OTCMKTS:DCHPF)
  • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
  • Unilever (NYSE:UL)

Stocks to Buy: MercadoLibre (MELI)

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The first manager on the list is Paulina Sliwinska. She is one of three people who manage the Baillie Gifford International Concentrated Growth Equities Fund (MUTF:BTLKX), a collection of just 25 stocks that seek to outperform the MSCI AC World ex US Index

Baillie Gifford launched the fund in December 2017. It charges 0.72%, has a turnover rate of 29% and has $137.5 million in net assets. 

MercadoLibre is the fund’s second-largest holding with a weighting of 8.58%. Consumer discretionary stocks account for 50.22% of the fund’s portfolio. Europe has the largest representation with a weighting of 45.1%. That excludes the U.K.

Sliwinska has been with Baillie Gifford since 2013. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master of Arts (Honors) in Arabic and Politics. She also has her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 

Expect good things to come from this rising star. As for MELI, I’ve been a fan since 2013, the same year Sliwinska joined Baillie Gifford. 

Roku (ROKU)

A purple Roku (ROKU) sign is pictured on a wall in Los Gatos, California.

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The next manager on the list is Felise Agranoff. She has been in the investment industry for 17 years, all spent with JPMorgan. Agranoff has been a manager of the JPMorgan Mid Cap Equity Fund (MUTF:JCMAX) for one year. She is one of four people managing the fund’s $2.92 billion in assets. 

The fund was launched in November 2009 and it charges 0.89%. It invests in 222 mid-cap companies with above-average growth prospects and consistent free cash flow generation. I like it already. 

Roku is one of the fund’s top 10 holdings, with a weighting of 1%. But don’t get too excited about this. The top 10 accounts for just 9.8% of the portfolio. That means the other 212 stocks have an average weighting of 0.43%. Thus, it turns over its entire portfolio approximately once every two years. 

The three largest sectors by weighting are information technology at 17.3%, industrials at 15.7% and healthcare at 13.3%.

I continue to like Roku as a growth stock with tremendous upside potential.

Stocks to Buy: Apple (AAPL)

Apple (AAPL) logo on building

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If you’re into socially responsible stock picks, Apple makes the cut for the 1919 Socially Responsive Balanced Fund (MUTF:SSIAX). The portfolio has 208 holdings that are undervalued and whose companies are socially responsible.

Two things immediately jump out at me about this fund. 

First, it has a low turnover of 5.4%. That means, on average, it turns the entire portfolio once every 18 years. That’s the ultimate buy-and-hold strategy. Apple is the second-largest holding at 3.2%. 

Launched in November 1992, the fund has net assets of $716.3 million. Conservative by nature, fixed-income investments account for 27% of its portfolio. Technology stocks are the largest sector, weighting at 34.8%. The fund charges 1.16%.

As for female portfolio managers, this fund has two: Aimee Eudy and Alison Bevilacqua. Both have more than 25 years of industry experience. 

Sea (SEA)

a visualization of Internet communications superimposed on a photo of a city skyline

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Up against 53 fund families, Barron’s ranked PGIM Jennison the number one World Equity fund family for 2020. That includes the PGIM Jennison Emerging Markets Equity Opportunities Fund (MUTF:PDEZX), which invests in rapidly-growing companies in emerging markets. 

The fund itself was launched in September 2014. It charges 1.05%, has a turnover rate of 58% and has $655 million in net assets. 

The fund has three portfolio managers, including Sara Moreno, who joined Jennison Associates in 2011. Before that, she worked at Loomis Sayles, Citi Global Markets, Goldman Sachs and Moody’s. Needless to say, she brings significant experience with emerging markets to the job. 

Sea, the portfolio selection I’m least familiar with, is a Singapore-based internet company. It develops online video games, operates an e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and is a leading digital payments provider in Asia.  

Sea is the largest holding in the fund with a weighting of 9.4%. Not surprisingly, MercadoLibre is the second-largest holding at 7.9%. I’ll be sure to pay closer attention to Sea in the future. 

Stocks to Buy: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSM)

image of TSM semiconductor office building

Source: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Kathryn Langridge and Philip Ehrmann, the two portfolio managers for the John Hancock Emerging Markets Equity Fund (MUTF: JEMQX), bring more than 80 years of combined investment industry experience to the fund. 

The fund has been in existence since June 2015. Langridge has managed the fund since its inception. She is taking a 90-day leave in September. They are adding a third portfolio manager, Talib Saifee, to help manage the fund while Langridge is away from the job. 

Hey, when you’ve been in the industry that long, you deserve a break or two. 

As for the fund itself, it attempts to beat the returns of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Over the past five years through July 31, the fund’s annualized total return is 11.87%, 150 basis points higher than its benchmark. 

Taiwan Semiconductor is the fund’s largest holding, representing 4.89% of its $2.09 billion in net assets. It is one of 67 holdings. The weighted average market cap of the fund is $132.3 billion.  

Microsoft (MSFT)

The Microsoft (MSFT) logo on a corporate office building during the day time.

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Just like Apple, I don’t think I need to spend much time explaining why Microsoft remains an excellent long-term investment. However, my InvestorPlace colleague, Mark Hake, did a good job valuing the company at the end of July.    

Microsoft is the top holding of the Pax Large Cap Fund (MUTF:PAXLX) at a weighting of 6.2%. The fund uses a bottom-up stock selection process to identify the best investment candidates. It also applies an ESG and sustainability lens to its portfolio management methodology. 

Microsoft is one of only 49 holdings in the $1.45 billion fund. It was launched in December 2016, turns its portfolio approximately once every 28 months, and annually charges 0.7%. 

One of the two portfolio managers of the fund is Barbara Browning. She’s been with Impax Asset Management LLC since 2017. Before that, she was with RBC Global Asset Management, where Browning co-managed several mutual funds. She is a CFA charterholder.  

If you’re interested in advancing the cause of women in financial services and business in general, Pax also has the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund (MUTF:PXWEX), a fund dedicated to “investing in companies that invest in women.” 

Stocks to Buy: Shopify (SHOP)

Image of a shopping cart toy on a wooden desk carrying a mobile phone that features the Shopy (SHOP) logo on it

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The top holding of the Baillie Gifford U.S. Equity Growth Fund (MUTF:BGGSX) is Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce company growing at an astronomical clip. The stock is up 36.6% year-to-date. Over the past three years, shareholders have been treated to an annualized total return of 120.9%. 

The fund invests in growth companies such as Shopify, which accounts for 8.49% of its $165 million in total net assets. The fund’s benchmark is the Russell 1000 Growth Index. It turns the entire portfolio once every two years. Despite a 50% annual turnover rate and being actively managed, it only charges 0.65%, or $65 per $10,000 invested. 

Kirsty Gibson is one of four portfolio managers working on the fund. Gibson’s been with Baillie Gifford since 2012. In addition to her years spent on the U.S. equities team, the portfolio manager has spent time investing in small and large-cap global equities. 

The fund’s top 10 holdings are all household names. They account for 48.2% of the fund, indicative of a best-ideas portfolio. 

 

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Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DCHPF)

rows of pills on a table representing pharmaceutical stocks

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I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being familiar with Dechra Pharmaceuticals, the largest holding of the Grandeur Peak Global Opportunities Fund (MUTF:GPGOX) at 2.5% as of April 30. 

While portfolios change from quarter to quarter, the mere fact that it was the top holding at the end of April indicates the company’s quality. 

Who is Dechra Pharmaceuticals? It specializes in veterinary pharmaceuticals. Based in the U.K., its products help treat hormonal and dermatological issues. Additionally, it has products that help treat pain and nutrition problems. 

In the past five years, its revenue grew by 108% to 515.1 million British Pounds ($701.7 million) from 247.6 million British Pounds ($339 million) in 2016. Over the same period, operating profits have also doubled.  

Amy Hu Sutherland is one of the three portfolio managers overseeing the fund. Sutherland’s been a manager on GPGOX since 2014. The two lead managers have worked on the fund since its inception in 2011. 

Stocks to Buy: Bank of America (BAC)

Street view on Bank of America branch in NYC with people waiting, pedestrians crossing, crosswalk, bike, road in Manhattan

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As you might expect from any Fidelity mutual funds, the Fidelity Equity-Income Fund (MUTF:FEQIX) has a significant amount of assets at $7.9 billion. It’s been around since 1966.

The fund seeks to generate a yield that’s more than the average yield of the S&P 500. While income-focused, it also looks for capital appreciation opportunities. 

While the fund’s largest holding is JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), I’m keener about Bank of America primarily because it is the largest financial holding of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B). The portfolio owns 12.3% of the bank, and BAC stock accounts for 14.2% of its $319.8 billion equity portfolio. 

As Bank of America goes, so goes BRK and FEQIX.  

Unlike many mutual funds mentioned in this article, Ramona Persaud is the sole portfolio manager for the fund. She joined Fidelity in 2003, managing FEQIX since October 2011. 

Unilever (UL)

unilever (UL) logo on a corporate building

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While Unilever (NYSE:UL) isn’t one of the top three holdings of the Morgan Stanley Active International Allocation Portfolio (MUTF:MSIBX), it is in the top 10 at a weighting of 2.64%. The top 10 holdings account for 34.15% of the portfolio. The remaining 100 holdings account for approximately 66% of $240 million in total net assets. 

Unilever has more than 400 brands in 190 countries, including Hellman’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Vaseline. I first became interested in the company in 2017 when then-CEO Paul Polman turned down a $143 billion bid from Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ:KHC). He believed the cost-cutting that would follow wasn’t in the best interest of all the company’s stakeholders. 

While Polman stepped down in November 2018 after Unilever’s aborted move from the U.K. to the Netherlands, he did set a tone at the company. That has led to ongoing growth during the pandemic.

It’s not a cheap fund at 1.25%, but it gets the job done. 

Jitania Kandhari is the Head of Macroeconomic Research for Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) emerging markets team and one of the fund’s two portfolio managers. She has 23 years of investment experience and has been with the company since 2006.   

On the date of publication, Will Ashworth did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

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