Anthony L. Arsta

Portfolio Manager

Motley Fool 100 ETF Results: Fourth Quarter 2018

As of December 31, 2018 Fourth Quarter 2018 Since Inception (Inception Date: 1/30/2018)
Motley Fool 100 ETF (TMFC) NAV Return -15.29% -6.22%
Motley Fool 100 ETF (TMFC) Market Price Return -15.10% -5.95%
S&P 500 Index Return -13.52% -10.50%


Gross Expense Ratio 0.50%. The performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be lower or higher. The investment return and principal of an investment will fluctuate so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. For performance as of the most recent month end, please call 1-800-617-0004. Short term performance, in particular, is not a good indication of a fund’s future performance, and investments should not be made based solely on returns.


Our results this quarter were poor, but if you’ve tuned in to any financial news in the past month or two, you already know about the market’s declines during the quarter. Negative stock market returns these past three months more than erased the gains we’d seen since the launch of the Motley Fool 100 ETF in January 2018. Performance since inception still looks good relative to the S&P 500 Index, but that sentiment provides little comfort during times of market turbulence.

Rather, I encourage you to look out to the horizon. While we publish these quarterly results to let you know what’s happening within the portfolio, we hope you join us in taking a longer-term approach. A drop like this may seem scary in the moment, until you realize how common these drops are — and how effective the stock market has been as a long-term creator of wealth despite such declines.

As you’d expect from the fund’s performance, there were far fewer winners than losers this quarter. The best performers were Red Hat (+29%), Tesla (+26%), and Starbucks (+14%). On the other hand, we had 17 investments that declined by at least 25% in Q4. Worst among the losers were NVIDIA (-52%), Align Technology (-46%), and Activision Blizzard (-44%). Given our market cap weighting methodology, none of these declines hurt as much as the performance from Apple (-30%), (-25%), or Alphabet (-13%). Those declines allowed Microsoft, which suffered a 10% dip of its own, to become the largest position within the Index. There will be quarters like this in the future, but we believe owning these companies for the long run is still one of the best strategies.

During this quarter’s rebalance, the fund underwent a few large changes. We said goodbye, for now, to Bank of America, Intel, and Oracle. Combined, these three holdings had been nearly 6.5% of assets. In their place, we’ve added The Boeing Company, Union Pacific, and Charles Schwab. Airline manufacturer Boeing and financial-services provider Charles Schwab both hit a bit of stock-price turbulence in 2018, but the Fool’s analysts like them. Union Pacific operates one of the largest railway networks in the United States. Its 32,000 route miles of tracks gives it the kind of long-term advantage we like to see, and it gives us a little stability in this technology- and consumer-heavy portfolio.

The rebalance included several other changes near the bottom of the portfolio. The Fool 100 Index consists of the 100 largest Fool-recommended companies, and the smallest companies in the list often change during each rebalance because of nothing more than price fluctuations. The list of all the companies we removed and added from the fund this quarter may appear long, especially since we rebalance quarterly. But remember, these are among the smallest holdings in the fund, and the number of companies changing doesn’t have as much of an impact as what happens to the largest holdings — after all, the top 10 largest holdings account for more than 50% of the fund’s assets.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s look at these changes. In addition to the businesses already mentioned, we sold Broadridge Financial Solutions, Match Group, Red Hat, ServiceNow, Skyworks Solutions, SVB Financial Group, Textron, and Verisk Analytics during the quarter. The companies we added were Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Applied Materials, CoStar Group, Expedia Group, Nasdaq, Sirius XM Holdings, Take-Two Interactive Software, and Veeva Systems.

You can see the full list of holdings in the ETF, updated daily, at 

Note: Opinions expressed are subject to change at any time, are not guaranteed and should not be considered investment advice.

*The Motley Fool 100 index is a market-cap weighted index that measures the performance of The Motley Fool’s 100 largest active buy recommendations or highest-rated stocks in Fool IQ, the company’s analyst opinion database. Every company included in the Index is incorporated and listed in the U.S. The S&P 500 Index is a stock market index based on the market capitalizations of 500 large companies having common stock listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. You cannot invest directly in an index.


*Holdings are subject to change. Holdings and percent of assets are based on security assets only, not including cash or receiveables (unpaid interest and dividends).

Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before you invest. Please see the prospectuses for the Motley Fool 100 Index ETF (the “Fund”) containing this and other information. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

The investment advisor for the Fund is Motley Fool Asset Management, LLC (“MFAM”). Shares of the Fund are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC, a registered broker-dealer not affiliated with The Motley Fool or Foreside Fund Distributors, LLC.

The net asset value (“NAV”) of the Fund’s shares is determined as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE (generally 4:00 p.m. Eastern time) each day the NYSE is open. Share are purchased and sold in secondary market transactions at negotiated market prices rather than at NAV. Shares of the Fund may be bought and sold throughout the day on the exchange through a brokerage account. However, shares are not individually redeemable, and may only be redeemed directly from the Fund by Authorized Participants in very large creation/redemption units. Shares may trade at, above or below NAV. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. To the extent the Fund invests more heavily in particular sectors of the economy (e.g., technology), its performance will be especially sensitive to developments that significantly affect those sectors. Similarly, the Fund is non-diversified, which means that it may invest a high percentage of its assets in a limited number of securities and, as a result, gains or losses on a single stock may have a greater impact on the Fund.

In addition to normal risks associated with investing in equity securities, investments in the Fund are subject to those risks specific to ETFs. Unlike other funds managed by MFAM, the Fund is not actively managed and we do not attempt to take defensive positions in any market conditions, including adverse markets. Likewise, we would not sell shares due to current or projected underperformance of a security, industry, or sector, unless that security is removed from the Index or the selling of shares of that security is otherwise required upon a reconstitution of the Index. As with all index funds, the performance of the Fund and its Index may differ from each other for a variety of reasons, including the operating expenses and portfolio transaction costs not incurred by the Index. In addition, the Fund may not be fully invested in the securities of the Index at all times, or may hold securities not included in the Index. Finally, Fund shares may trade at a material discount to NAV, and this risk is heightened in times of market volatility or periods of steep market declines.

For these and other reasons, there is no guarantee the Fund will achieve its stated objective.

MFAM is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Motley Fool Holdings, Inc., which is a multimedia financial-services holding company. MFAM is a separate entity, and all investment decisions are made independently by the asset managers at MFAM. Neither of TMF co-founders, Tom Gardner and David Gardner, nor any other TMF analyst is involved in the investment decision-making or daily operations of MFAM.

Recent Articles

Any discussion of individual companies on this page is not intended as a recommendation to buy, hold or sell securities issued by those companies. The holdings of MFAM Funds may change at any time and are subject to risk. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk.