Q2 2023 Quarterly Commentary


Q2 2023 Quarterly Commentary

June 30, 2023

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

Performance: The stock and bond markets were mixed for the quarter ending June 30, 2023, with the broad stock market as measured by the S&P 500 advancing 8.74%, the MSCI EAFE (foreign stock market index) up 1.87%, and the Bloomberg Barclays Intermediate term government/corporate bond index declining 0.81%. Recall that bond prices typically decline as interest rates rise. The year to date as well as the trailing twelve months reflects similar relationships with the broader US stock market providing double digit returns of 16.89% and 19.59%, respectively, the MSCI EAFE up 9.66% and 15.46%, while the bond index showed returns of 1.50% and -0.10%. The Plumb Balanced and Equity Funds favorable relative returns primarily reflected the strong rebound in your technology investments. As we have discussed before, we believe we are in the midst of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” led by disruptive innovations and attractive business models for the underlying companies we are invested in. This market performance contrasted with the low single digit returns in the Dow Jones Industrial Averages and smaller publicly traded companies (small caps).

The Plumb Equity (investment class) recorded a quarterly return of 13.04% and six-month return of 29.70%. For the quarter and year-to-date our technology exposure contributed over half of that return with our long-term position in NVIDIA, up 52% for the quarter and 189% for the year-to-date and Elf Beauty, up 38% and 106%, respectively being the standouts. A small position in energy was the largest detractor to our performance.

The Plumb Balanced Fund (investment class) was up 7.86% and 15.92% for the quarter and year-to-date, respectively. From the comments above it will come as no surprise that the Funds equity exposure was the major contribution to the Funds performance. In a slight reversal to the performance of the bond index, the fund had a modest single digit negative return of -0.50% for the year-to-date and a positive 0.70% return for the second quarter. Like the Equity Fund, NVIDIA was the most productive holding for the quarter and year-to-date.

Markets: The Federal Reserve policies of increasing interest rates and reducing overall liquidity have had little of the predicted dampening effect on the underlying US economy, perplexing most economists and investors. Put simply the Gross Domestic Product (the measure of total domestic activity in the United States) is an average and averages include some components that go up and some that go down. We have been experiencing a rotating correction hitting different industries at separate times. The United States is not only the largest economy in the world but also the most diverse. We have experienced inventory corrections sequentially in semi-conductors (last summer), housing, durable goods, and other sections of the economy, followed by their growth track recovery.

The recovery in those sectors and the strength in the service sector (over 60% of our economy) is built on the employment numbers. People spend when they are working and people working continue to support businesses, investment, and the overall economy. This is a cycle that the Federal Reserve is trying to disrupt so that inflation and inflation expectations will drop. Eventually, we expect the Federal Reserve policy of raising short-term interest rates and competing with corporate and government borrowers by selling bonds in their portfolios will dampen economic growth. However, the timing of their impact is uncertain.

Strategy: The impact of rising interest rates and tightening bank lending standards is reflected in our current investment strategy emphasizing investments in profitable companies that generate cash beyond their internal needs. We remain cautious about companies that require significant outside financing to build their business plans as that financing will be at higher rates and could be subject to limited access in tighter conditions. Our fixed income investments remain in short-term bonds and variable rate instruments that will not “lock in” low rates in an uncertain future.

There is an old cliché that stock markets climb a wall of worry. We have seen this since the market started its advance last October. In the face of continued doom and gloom, forecasts stocks have shown dynamic growth. Though this may not continue at this pace, we are optimistic that the companies the Funds are invested in will continue to win in the real world and in their stock market performance.

Thomas G. Plumb

The Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses must be considered carefully before investing. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the investment company, and it may be obtained on www.plumbfunds.com or by calling 1- 866-987- 7888. Read it carefully before investing.

Performance data quoted represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Investment returns and principal value will fluctuate and when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance current to the most recent month-end may be lower or higher than the performance quoted and can be obtained by calling 866-987-7888.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. Plumb Balanced Fund Standardized Performance Plumb Equity Fund Standardized Performance

Opinions expressed are those of the author as of June 30, 2023, and are subject to change, are not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, nor investment advice.

Earnings growth is the annual rate of growth of earnings from investments.

Mutual fund investing involves risk. Principal loss is possible.

It is not possible to invest directly in an index

The fund may invest in small and mid-sized companies which involve additional risks such as limited liquidity and greater volatility. The funds invest in foreign securities which involve greater volatility and political, economic and currency risks and differences in accounting methods. Because the funds may invest in ETFs, they are subject to additional risks that do not apply to conventional mutual funds, including the risks that the market price of an ETF’s shares may trade at a discount to its net asset value (“NAV”), an active secondary trading market may not develop or be maintained, or trading may be halted by the exchange in which they trade, which may impact a fund’s ability to sell its shares. The fund may also use options and future contracts, which have the risks of unlimited losses of the underlying holdings due to unanticipated market movements and failure to correctly predict the direction of securities prices, interest rates and currency exchange rates. The investment in options is not suitable for all investors. The Plumb Balanced Fund will invest in debt securities, which typically decrease in value when interest rates rise. This risk is usually greater for longer-term debt securities.

Fund holdings are subject to change at any time and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. For a list of current fund holdings, please refer to the individual fund’s holding page. Plumb Balanced Holdings: plumbfunds.com/funds/plumb-balanced-fund/. Plumb Equity Holdings: plumbfunds.com/fund/plumb-equity-fund/

Diversification does not assure a profit nor protect against loss in a declining market. Dividends are not guaranteed and may fluctuate.

The Standard and Poor’s 500, or simply the S&P 500, is a stock market index tracking the stock performance of 500 of the largest companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most commonly followed equity indices.

MSCI EAFE Index is a stock market index that is designed to measure the equity market performance of developed markets outside the U.S. & Canada. It is maintained by MSCI Inc., a provider of investment decision support tools; the EAFE acronym stands for Europe, Australia and Far East.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a term that refers to the transformation of society and economy by the convergence and complementarity of emerging technologies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Dow Jones, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index of 30 prominent companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. The DJIA is one of the oldest and most commonly followed equity indexes.

Plumb Funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC, distributor.