Regardless of the framing, a differentiated portfolio guarantees only divergence, not outperformance.
PRIMECAP Management Company, PRIMECAP Annual Report 9/30/2019

Funds run by the PRIMECAP Management team have played an essential role in our Portfolios for the past three decades. The managers in Pasadena, CA, deserve a fair share of the credit for the track record we’ve built.

Dan and I were never shy in telling you that PRIMECAP-run funds comprised the biggest portions of our personal portfolios. That’s still true today—PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growth (POAGX) is my largest position. It’s the only PRIMECAP-run fund I own.

It has been one year since PRIMECAP reopened Odyssey Aggressive Growth, and the fund has delivered solid absolute returns but lagged the index—it gained 15.2% through the first 11 months of 2023 while 500 Index (VFIAX) advanced 20.8%. And, as I told you when the fund reopened, the PRIMECAP team was already going through a stretch of lackluster relative results.

So, let’s take this anniversary of the reopening as a chance to review all the PRIMECAP-run funds—three at Vanguard and the three private-labeled Odyssey funds. Is my confidence and conviction in the PRIMECAP Management team still warranted?   

Fair warning: This is a long read with a lot of charts. If that’s not for you, that’s okay. But this is a big topic for anyone following my Portfolios. And frankly, it’s a big topic for me and my portfolio!

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