Winters Taps Emerging Market Growth Via Europe

Top fund manager David Winters says he’s trying to get exposure to emerging market growth, but he’s doing so in an unconventional way: by focusing on European stocks.

Winters tells Bloomberg that he wants his shareholders to have exposure to the parts of the world “where people want everything we have and are willing to go out and get it,” But with investors having poured cash into emerging market stocks in 2010, he says focusing on European firms that have global businesses can be a way to tap into that emerging market growth while paying less.

Winters says he’ll go after opportunities wherever he can find the “trifecta” of improving economics, management that is friendly to shareholders, and an attractive share price. Lately he’s shifted his portfolio much more toward non-U.S. holdings. The U.S. “borrowed too much money and will take time to work through those problems,” he tells Bloomberg, noting that Asian countries learned lessons from their own financial crises in the late 1990s, and tend to have better balance sheets than Western firms.

The article also talks a bit about Winters’ shift in strategy from his early days, when he used to focus on cheap, declining companies that might have a bit of life left. Now, he goes after high-quality firms. In the current market, he says, those types of stocks are offering plenty of value. “These days you can buy a Porsche for a used-car price,” he said.

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