Investors shaken up by the stock market's upheaval in recent weeks might benefit from the long-term perspective of one the industry's premier stock pickers. Frank Jennings has managed the Oppenheimer Global Opportunities Fund (OPGIX) since 1995, beating 98% of his peers with an average annual total return of 13.30% during the past 10 years. His fund's returns are up a stunning 50.77% over the 12 months, according to Morningstar Inc. per a lengthy story in Barron's.
Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at.
Jennings has achieved that kind of heavenly performance - here on earth in the stock market - by executing a long-term investment strategy with discipline and precision. As he told Barron's, "A lot of people are investing for this quarter. I'm taking a 10-year view on something. When I'm meeting with management, I don't even want to hear about the quarter." Also, in choosing investments, he adds that "The stock has to have a meaningfully visible probability of being a gold mine."
These are Jennings' top picks right now, per Barron's, with their one-year price gains through the open on February 22, though we stress that one year is very short term for Jennings: Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR), +553%; Exact Sciences Corp. (EXAS), +119%; Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT), +54%; Aixtron SE (AIXA.Germany), +292%; First Solar Inc. (FSLR), +75%; and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), -16%. As a point of comparison, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is up by 14.8% for the same period.
Looking For 'Limited Downside'
Jennings' fund also has held up well in the recent sell-off, down just 0.86% over the past month, also better than 98% of its peers, according to Morningstar. "We look for stocks with massive upside and limited downside," he told Barron's. This may be of particular interest right now, given that the Investopedia Anxiety Index (IAI) continues to record an extremely high degree of apprehension about the securities markets among our millions of readers worldwide.
Nektar is the largest holding in Jennings' fund, accounting for 12.11% of its portfolio, per Morningstar. As Barron's notes, this one position thus can have a significant impact on the fund's total performance, either positive or negative. Nektar is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treatments for cancer, pain, infections, and viruses. Jennings is particularly excited about the company's innovative drug delivery system for cancer treatments that works with the body's immune system.
Nektar also has a lucrative partnership with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) that Jennings anticipates will produce a blockbuster immune system treatment. Also, subsequent to the interview, Barron's notes that Nektar announced a promising partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) on another cancer treatment.
Exact Sciences, meanwhile, has developed a noninvasive alternative to colonoscopy for detecting colon cancer. This diagnostic process cuts the cost of colon cancer screening by 90%, Jennings says.
The Energy Revolution
Energy trends also drive Jennings' choices. "Solar power, batteries, and the electric car are part of the biggest revolution happening right now," he tells Barron's, adding that this is likely to put major oil producers such as Russia and the Middle East "out of business." That's why he bought First Solar, which makes solar panels, and Aixtron, a producer of carbon tubes that are a key component of solar cells.
Semiconductor manufacturer Advanced Micro Devices is the second-largest holding in the Oppenheimer Global Opportunities Fund, at 3.23% of the portfolio value, per Morningstar. Jennings believes that the stock has "big upside." He rounds out his six picks with Applied Materials, a leading supplier of the semiconductor capital equipment that other companies use to make advanced chips.
Based on their overall performance thus far, Jennings' picks may offer the perfect cure for the recent breakout of investor nausea caused by the stock market's wild swings.