This is the final part of a five-part interview with Zeke Ashton Portfolio Manager and founder of Centaur Capital Partners. The interview is part of ValueWalk’s Value Fund Interview Series.

Throughout this series, we are publishing weekly interviews with value-oriented hedge funds, and asset managers. All the past interviews in the series can be found here.

Zeke Ashton founded the Centaur Value Fund back in the summer of 2002 and his conservative value style has produced some impressive returns for shareholders over the years.

From its inception on August 1, 2002, through July 31, 2016, the Centaur Value Fund produced a cumulative net return of 351.2%, versus a cumulative return of 217.0% for the S&P500.

Zeke Ashton also manages the Centaur Total Return fund  and you can find more information on the mutual fund at (www.centaurmutualfunds.com) or Morningstar’s performance page here.

Centaur Capital Partners Zeke Ashton's Centaur Total Return Fund
Zeke Ashton

Interview with Zeke Ashton of Centaur [Pt. 5]

Continued from part four…

Are there any companies at all that interest you in this market, and if so, what do you think makes the businesses stand out from the crowd?

What fascinates me at the moment is the flood of capital pouring into the stocks of companies that happen to pay out most of their income in the form of dividends in the search for “safe” income.  Valuations of stocks that might be considered any form of alternative to the contractual income offered by bonds of reasonable credit quality have gotten extremely steep and may now have gotten extreme enough to call a bubble.  I think before long the market’s current craze for “safe dividends” is going to get ugly, and investors will discover that a 3% dividend doesn’t feel like a lot of comfort if the stock declines 30% and you lose 10 years worth of income.  But I guess we’ll find out.

Since inception, Centaur has outperformed the S&P 500 by 2.8% per annum or 134.2% on a cumulative basis. Which traits in your opinion have helped Centaur beat the market over the years?

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