"When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure." - Peter Marshall

Growth Strategy

The Growth Universe contains approximately 100 companies.  The Growth strategy holds anywhere from 10 to 30 of the companies within the universe at any given time. Risk is managed through position sizing. As companies mature, increase in value and grow to become our larger allocations, they  are often sold into strength, using the proceeds to fund new Acorns. Acorns begin as small allocations and grow as the company executes and meets KPIs. We expect volatility in these names as they are mostly small/mid-cap and can be illiquid. We often look to take advantage of this illiquidity and use weakness to increase position sizes. Somewhere in the middle are the Saplings, which make up the majority of the portfolio. Many of the Sapling positions have long holding periods and have matured from Acorns. Saplings have eliminated many of the business execution risks and proven their business model works and has longevity and growth ahead. Top and bottom line growth are still very attractive relative to the peers and broader market, unlike Oaks who often display the slower growth qualities of many mature companies. Saplings may also become Oaks when price outpaces fundamental performance, as we will not longer be a buyer of weakness. If we think the market has priced our company to perfection and there are more downside risks than upside from a valuation perspective, we become a seller on strength.

For more information on the portfolio construction process, please see the Process section.

A C O R N S

Avalara (AVLR)

Azul (AZUL)

Capri Holdings (CPRI)

Discovery Communications (DISCA)

Cognex  (CGNX)

Datadog (DDOG)

DocuSign (DOCU)

Formula One (FWONK)

Fastly (FSLY)

Gildan Activewear (GIL)

Guardant Health (GH)

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH)

GrubHub (GRUB)

Inspire Medical Systems (INSP)

inMode (INMD)

iRhythm Technologies (IRTC)

Landstar (LSTR)

Live Nation Entertainment (LYV)

Liveongo (LVGO)

Invitae (NVTA)

OmniCell (OMCL)

Peleton (PTON)

Ping Identity (PING)

Progyny Inc. (PGNY)

Roku (ROKU)

Stratasys (SSYS)

Tesla (TSLA)

Turning Point Brands (TPB)

Tapestry Holdings (TPR)

Zillow (ZG)

Zynga (ZNGA)

S A P L I N G S

Align Technology (ALGN)

Canada Goose (GOOS)

Cloudflare (NET)

Axon (AAXN)

Autodesk (ADSK)

Activision-Blizzard (ATVI)

Electronic Arts (EA)

Etsy (ETSY)

Exact Sciences (EXAS)

EverBridge (EVBG)

iRobot (IRBT)

Lyft (LYFT)

Pinterest (PINS)

Restoration Hardware (RH)

RingCentral (RNG)

Salesforce (CRM)

Samuel Adams (SAM)

Shake Shack (SHAK)

Spotify (SPOT)

Square Inc (SQ)

Teledoc (TDOC)

TripAdvisor (TRIP)

Twitter (TWTR)

Take Two Interactive Software (TTWO)

Universal Display Corp (OLED)

Wix.com (WIX)

WeightWatchers (WW)

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)

Yeti (YETI)

O A K S

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)

Domino's Pizza (DPZ)

FactSet Data Systems (FDS)

Ferrari (RACE)

Garmin (GRMN)

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)

Lululemon (LULU)

Match.com (MTCH)

PayCom (PAYC)

PayPal (PYPL)

Sketchers (SKX)

Tractor Supply Company (TSCO)

2020 January Updates - 

Upgrades - Spotify (SPOT), Teledoc (TDOC) and Garmin (GRMN)

Downgrades - Roku (ROKU) and ShakeShack (SHAK)

New Additions - Cognex (CGNX), DocuSign (DOCU), GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH), Landstar (LSTR), Tesla (TSLA), Salesforce (CRM), inMode (INMD), iRhythm Technologies (IRTC).

2020 June Updates

Upgrades - Align Technology (ALGN), Canada Goose (GOOS), Cloudflare (NET), Exact Sciences (EXAS), Everbridge (EVBG), Ferrari (RACE), Lyft (LYFT), Pinterest (PINS), Square Inc (SQ), TripAdvisor (TRIP), Weightwatchers (WW), Yeti (YETI)

Downgrades - Azul (AZUL), Capri Holdings (CPRI), Discovery Communications (DISCA), Gildan Activewear (GIL), Turning Point Brands (TPB), Tapestry Holdings (TPR)

Additions - Avalara (AVLR), Guardant Heath (GH), Ping Identity (PING), Fastly (FSLY), Datadog (DDOG), Liveongo (LVGO), Live Nation Entertainment (LYV), Peleton (PTON), Progyny (PGNY)

Removals - Duluth Trading Co. (DLTH), Funko, Inc. (FNKO), Polaris (PII), Talend (TLND), Yext (YEXT)

MercadoLibre (MELI)

NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA)

Sea Ltd (SE)

ShotSpotter (SSTI)

STAAR Surgical (STAA)

Thor Industries (THO)

Twilio (TWLO)

Ulta Beauty (ULTA)

US Ecology (ECOL)

Varian Medical Systems (VAR)

Zendesk (ZEN)

Zscaler (ZS)

WATCH LIST

Alarm.com Holdings (ALRM)

Alteryx (AYX)

Autozone (AZO)

Blackline (BL)

Carvana (CVNA)

CBOE Global Markets (CBOE)

Coupa Software (COUP)

Elastic (ESTC)

Expedia Group (EXPE)

Genpact (G)

IMAX Corp. (IMAX)

Instructure (INST)

InterActiveCorp (IAC)

Nordstrom (JWN)

MongoDB (MDB)

Core Strategy

The Core Universe contains approximately 50 companies. The Core strategy provides stability to the overall portfolio with significantly larger and more mature companies. The Core strategy is split between Core and Core Plus.

The Core portfolio is a buy and hold strategy with no turnover. The holds are reviewed on an annual basis to determine if they still meet the criteria:

  • Timeless Franchise / Brand / household name (product recognized globally by any almost age)

  • Premium US customer (target customer above average discretionary income)

  • Reoccurring revenue (predictable cash flows)

  • Pricing power (ability to raise prices without losing customers)

  • Easy to understand business model (clearly identifiable growth opportunity)

  • Disruption / Trend (innovation, technology/services, changing consumer preference)

  • Dominant and durable intangible assets (difficult to recreate - innovation, customer loyalty, copyrights, network)

  • Low Capital Intensity / Clean balance sheet (no (low) debt)

  • High gross margins (ability to generate outsized profits in the long term)

  • High return on invested capital (ROIC) (compounder, growth funding growth (no dilution/interest expense))

  • Strong MOAT (competitive advantage, barriers for competitors to enter market, regulation, high switching cost)

  • Growth & market position (strong top/bottom line growth, growing faster than peers, gaining market share)

  • Attractive Valuation Metrics (PE, FCF, PEG, yield relative to comparables)

  • G.A.R.P. (growth at a reasonable price)

  • New product or revenue stream (potential for meaningful increase in revenue/earnings)

  • Strong Management Team (owner-operator, vision for growth, smart m&a, interests aligned)

  • Takeover target (valuation or strategic)

 

The positions within the core portfolio are often over and underweighted relative to the attractiveness of their near term technicals or short term outlook. When a company trades to the target valuation or price, the position will be reduced. When a company trades far enough from the target valuation where the risk/reward has shifted meaningfully in our favor, the allocation is increased. Target allocations are intended to be equally weighted with a bias toward market cap.

The Core Plus portfolio is an extension of the Core portfolio and includes attractive companies from outside of the United States whose investment vehicles carry less attractive tax treatment. We choose to only own these investments when they go on sale and sell when they return to fair value or our target price.

For more information on the portfolio construction process, please see the Process section.

C O R E

Apple (AAPL)

Amazon.com (AMZN)

Boeing (BA)

Booking Holdings (BKNG)

Costco (COST)

Delta (DAL)

Disney (DIS)

Facebook (FB)

FedEx (FDX)

Alphabet (GOOGL)

Home Depot (HD)

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

JP Morgan Chase (JPM)

Coca-Cola (KO)

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMUY)

Mastercard (MA)

McDonalds (MCD)

Microsoft (MSFT)

Netflix (NFLX)

Nike (NKE)

Pepsi (PEP)

Starbucks (SBUX)

Stryker (SYK)

Target (TGT)

Visa (V)

Waste Management (WM)

C O R E    P L U S

Adidas (ADDYY)

Brown-Forman Corp. (BF.B)

Anheuser Busch (BUD)

Blackstone (BX)

Caterpillar (CAT)

CVS Healthcare (CVS)

John Deere (DE)

eBay (EBAY)

Essilor-Luxotica (ESLOY)

General Motors (GM)

Heineken (HEINY)

Hershey (HSY)

Intel (INTC)

Loreal (LRLCY)

3M Corp (MMM)

Altria (MO)

Nestle (NSRGY)

Nintendo (NTDOY)

Novo-Nordisk (NVO)

Ralph Lauren (RL)

Tiffany & Co. (TIF)

Walmart (WMT)

2020 January Updates - 

Upgrades - JP Morgan Chase (JPM)

Downgrades - Tiffany & Co. (TIF)

2020 June Updates - 

Upgrades - Boeing (BA)

Additions - Stryker (SYK)

Have any questions? Feel free to reach out using the form below, directly by email or through any of our social media accounts.

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