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Coronavirus stock America’s top stock-picker has raked in a 56% return over the last year — and Zoom was one of his biggest winners (ZM)


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Coronavirus stock America’s top stock-picker has raked in a 56% return over the last year — and Zoom was one of his biggest winners (ZM)

2020’s top stock picker as measured by performance has leaned on work-from-home stocks to drive the bulk of gains year-to-date. Morgan Stanley’s Dennis Lynch is the portfolio manager of the Morgan Stanley Institutional Discovery Portfolio, which has posted a 12-month total return of 56.2%, ranking No. 1 among active funds that rely on fundamentals and…

Coronavirus stock America’s top stock-picker has raked in a 56% return over the last year — and Zoom was one of his biggest winners (ZM)

Coronavirus stock

  • 2020’s top stock picker as measured by performance has leaned on work-from-home stocks to drive the bulk of gains year-to-date.
  • Morgan Stanley’s Dennis Lynch is the portfolio manager of the Morgan Stanley Institutional Discovery Portfolio, which has posted a 12-month total return of 56.2%, ranking No. 1 among active funds that rely on fundamentals and don’t use leverage.
  • The three top stocks of Lynch’s portfolio that drove a bulk of the gains over the past year include Shopify, Slack, and Zoom.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Despite the turbulent stock market that saw a 20% drawdown in the first quarter and a 20% rise in the second quarter, some stock pickers are thriving amid the volatility.

Case in point, Morgan Stanley’s Dennis Lynch, who is the head of the Counterpoint Global team and is a portfolio manager of the Morgan Stanley Institutional Discovery Portfolio. The fund placed No. 1 in The Wall Street Journal’s Winners’ Circle contest.

The growth-oriented fund posted a 12-month total return of 56.2%, and was up 59.3% for the first half of 2020, according to The Journal.

The Journal’s Winners’ Circle review is a quarterly contest that ranks the 12-month performance of actively managed US stock funds that have at least $50 million in assets, a three-year track record, and no reliance on leverage or quantitative screens to pick their stocks. The contest excludes index funds from consideration.

The Journal’s list of winners for the quarterly contest was dominated by growth-oriented funds from Morgan Stanley and Zevenbergen Capital that had healthy allocation to technology stocks.

Read More: ‘We may have a blow-up’: Famed investor Jim Rogers explains how central bank ‘madness’ has the stock market hurtling towards another crash

The top three stock holdings of the No. 1 fund managed by Lynch as of June 30 were Shopify, Slack, and Zoom, which each make up between 5% and 6% of the fund.

The portfolio’s stock picks were prescient. According to data from Morningstar, Lynch and his team added to Slack and Zoom during the second quarter of 2019, a full year before the coronavirus pandemic forced tens of millions of people to work from home and employ the technology offered by Slack and Zoom.

Lynch told The Wall Street Journal regarding Zoom, “We thought it had interesting qualities even before all this [COVID-19] happened. It’s hard to call anyone a winner at a time like this, but [Zoom’s] CEO and founder has done some pretty incredible things…”

Morgan Stanley’s Discovery fund has a five-star rating from Morningstar and $2 billion in assets, according to Morningstar. The mid-cap growth fund has an expense ratio of 0.74% and requires a minimum initial investment of $5 million. 

Read More: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 13 stocks that are poised to crush the market within the next 2 weeks as earnings season gets underway

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To get a sense of how much Lynch relies on technology stocks to drive the fund’s long-term returns, the average price-earnings ratio of the portfolio is 93.47, versus the category average of 31.43, while the fund has a 41.6% allocation to the technology sector versus the category average of 27.82%, according to Morningstar data.

In June, Business Insider talked to Dennis Lynch, who broke down the stocks he sees having the most potential over the next decade. Lynch’s investment style is to shy away from short-term predictions and instead focus on the long term. 

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