The past year has certainly not been the easiest for ASX investors. The immense volatility that we’ve seen over 2022 thus far has put a dampener on the reasonably solid returns we saw for ASX shares over 2021. On current pricing, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has given investors a return of approximately 3.1% over the past 12 months. That’s not terrible by any means. But it’s also a figure that isn’t going to light any fires. So to hear that not one, but two ASX fund managers have managed to give investors 30% gains over the past 12 months is certainly something we should be paying attention to.
According to a report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the Collins Street Value Fund and the Ausbil Global Resources Fund are two managed funds that have delivered exceptional returns to investors over the past 12 months.
How did they do it? Well, it was reportedly thanks to some well-timed positions in the resources and energy sectors. ASX resources and energy shares have been the talk of the ASX town over the past few weeks. This is especially been the case more recently as global geopolitical crises such as the war in Ukraine crimp supply chains.
We’ve seen oil, gas and coal, as well as gold and copper, take flight in recent weeks. Oil is now at highs we haven’t seen for the best part of a decade.
According to the report, the Collins Street Value fund launched a “special situations strategy targeting offshore oil companies” last year. It loaded the boat on Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) in particular, buying near the company’s “2021 lows”.
The managing director and portfolio manager for Collins Street Value, Michael Goldberg, told the report that investors’ willingness to move away from fossil fuels like oil has “clouded the reality of strong demand and weak supply that have pushed oil, gas and coal prices higher over the past year”. Here’s some more of what he said:
Oil was going to strengthen regardless and now we’re seeing Russia, a major oil producer, triggering uncertainty about output… There’s a massive tailwind and investors who view what we are seeing as a top because of Ukraine are missing the picture of what will happen in the next few decades.
Ausbil Global Resources has also benefitted enormously from hooking the bandwagon to the energy sector. The report notes that the fund’s third-largest holding is the US energy giant Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY). Occidental shares have rocketed by more than 150% since last October, and by 40% in the past month alone. Ausbil’s Luke Smith told the report that he believes we are entering a “commodities supercycle”.
As of January 31, the Ausbil Global Fund had returned 29.8% over the preceding 12 months. The Collins Street Value Fund has reportedly gained more than 30% since the second half of last year.
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