While known as the manager with whom many top managers entrusted their own money, Neff was far from the smooth-talking, high-profile Wall Streeter you might expect. He was mild-mannered and low-key, and the same might be said of the Windsor Fund that he managed for more than three decades. In fact, Neff himself described the fund as "relatively prosaic, dull, [and] conservative." There was nothing dull about his results, however. From 1964 to 1995, Neff guided Windsor to a 13.7 percent average annual return, easily outpacing the S&P 500's 10.6 percent return during that time. That 3.1 percentage point difference is huge over time -- a $10,000 investment in Windsor (with dividends reinvested) at the start of Neff's tenure would have ended up as more than $564,000 by the time he retired, more than twice what the same investment in the S&P would have yielded (about $233,000). Considering the length of his tenure, that track record may be the best ever for a manager of such a large fund.
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Since 2004, this portfolio has returned 352.0%, outperforming the market by 123.8% using its optimal tax efficient rebalancing period and 10 stock portfolio size.
Validea used the investment strategy outlined in the book John Neff on Investing written by John Neff to create our Low PE Investor portfolio.
Neff's approach was "relatively prosaic" and "dull" because it focused on the market's unloved. Neff identified these stocks using the price/earnings ratio, seeking stocks with P/Es that were between 40 to 60 percent of the market average. From this group, he looked for firms with steady, sustainable EPS growth (between 7 percent and 20 percent per year, and driven by sales growth), as well as positive free cash flows. He also used what he called the "total return/PE" ratio, which combined a stock's growth rate and dividend yield and divided that by its P/E ratio to find good values. The variable underscored Neff's belief that strong dividends were an often-overlooked part of how investors could beat the market.
Performance Disclaimer: Returns presented on Validea.com are model returns and do not represent actual trading. As a result, they do not incorporate any commissions or other trading costs or fees. Model portfolios with inception dates on or after 12/30/2005 include a combination of back tested and live model returns. The back-tested performance results shown are hypothetical and are not the result of real-time management of actual accounts. The back-testing of performance differs from actual account performance because the investment strategy may be adjusted at any time, for any reason and can continue to be changed until desired or better performance results are achieved. Back-tested returns are presented to provide general information regarding how the underlying strategy behind the portfolio performed in our historical testing. A back-tested strategy has the benefit of hindsight and the results do not reflect the impact that material economic or market factors may have had on advisor's decision-making if actual client assets were being managed using this approach.
Optimal portfolios presented on Validea.com represent the rebalancing period that has led to the best historical performance for each of our equity models. Each optimal portfolio was determined after the fact with performance information that was not available at portfolio inception. As a result, an investor could not have invested in the
optimal portfolio since its inception. Optimal portfolios are presented to allow investors to quickly determine the portfolio size and rebalancing period that has performed best for each of our models in our historical testing.
Both the model portfolio and benchmark returns presented for all equity portfolios on Validea.com are not inclusive of dividends. Returns for our ETF portfolios and trend following system, and the benchmarks they are compared to, are inclusive of dividends. The S&P 500 is presented as a benchmark because it is the most widely followed benchmark of the overall US market and is most often used by investors for return comparison purposes. As with any investment strategy, there is potential for profit as well as the possibility of loss and investors may incur a loss despite a past history of gains. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Results will vary with economic and market conditions.