Performance Review 2006
ISIN: DE0008474008Henning Gebhardt: "Given the good economic trend in Euroland and globally, the fund management raised the weighting in cyclical stocks - including during the temporary stock market consolidation in May and June 2006 when these issues fell by more than the general market. The focus was placed on industrials, technology and materials stocks. Siemens was expanded into the fund’s largest position. The company’s appeal lay in its persistent restructuring and the vast private and public sector infrastructure spending worldwide, which to investors meant upside potential for the stock. One of the fund’s other top holdings was SAP. The global leader in enterprise software was buoyed by the pent-up demand from its customers, who, if they are to remain efficient, cannot avoid investing in this area. After profit-taking, BASF was still somewhat overweighted; the stock participated in factors such as a high demand for basic chemicals. In the financial sector, a good performer was Deutsche Postbank, which became a component of the DAX in September 2006; DWS Investa had already built a position in the stock during the first half of the reporting period, as the institution strengthened its distribution network by, notably, taking over the branches of Deutsche Post. In the telecommunications sector, Deutsche Telekom remained underweighted because of the intense competition in the telephony market. Instead, the fund favoured the mid-cap United Internet, which was able to expand its DSL customer base. Demand for renewable energy sources, being tied to oil prices, pushed up the price of SolarWorld stock; the fund partly locked in profits in the position."
Performance Review 2007
Henning Gebhardt: "In light of the robust economy particularly in Germany, Europe and Asia, management preferred cyclical names and gave a stronger weighting to a selection of secondary stocks. This portfolio returned a better-than-average performance until the middle of 2007, but it subsequently suffered considerable price declines as a result of the financial-market crisis emanating from the U.S. real-estate sector, especially because defensive stocks such as utilities (e.g., E.ON) were underweighted. Noticeable reductions were made in bank stocks, with insurance thus receiving a higher weighting in the financials. Allianz remained the largest financial stock in the portfolio. This was supported,among other things, by the intention to integrate the foreign subsidiaries more closely into the Allianz group so as to benefit from synergies and reduce costs. Siemens remained the largest position in the fund; while the company profited from the enormous expenditures made to develop infrastructure in Asia, the corruption payments subdued its market price in the third quarter of 2007, in spite of the management changes. One of the medium-sized industrial stocks that contributed disproportionately to the performance of DWS Investa was SolarWorld; this company produces solar-energy systems that were very much sought after in view of the pronounced demand for renewable energy. In the technology sector, the position in SAP returned a disappointing performance; excessively ambitious targets set by the company led to a fall in its stock price. In the consumer discretionary sector, the DaimlerChrysler position was expanded considerably. This stock benefited from the positive order book at its Mercedes-Benz car division and from the separation from Chrysler. The increase in Porsche’s stake in Volkswagen caused both of these portfolio stocks to rise."
Performance Review 2008
Henning Gebhardt: "The financial crisis originating in the USA intensified during 2008 and lead to a considerable weakness of market prices in the German equity market in all sectors. With the intermittently strong declining award of bank credit among one another as well as to companies and the public, recessionary fears emerged. Against this backdrop, the fund DWS Investa, which is primarily invested in German blue-chips, recorded a loss and lagged behind the benchmark. This was primarily because Volkswagen was strongly underweighted in the portfolio. However, the market price of the ordinary shares increased strongly with regard to the Porsche takeover in opposition to the market and sector trend; the high valuation resulting from this was not comprehensible from a fundamental point of view. Moreover, second-tier stocks were mixed in to the portfolio with the objective of having more well-balanced diversification (Symrise, Tognum) that slipped more than the average in the weak phases due to their lower capitalization. The reduction of holdings in cyclical sectors sensitive to economic cycles - for example, the industrial and consumer goods sectors - was also advantageous to the portfolio as with financial securities. Due to the signs of a global economic slow-down, the holding in Siemens was considerably retracted.
However, the stronger focus on supposed defensive securities did not prove helpful. The market prices of utilities in particular were under considerable pressure since the summer of 2008 as the prices for oil and gas fell noticeably with the more unfavourable economic outlooks. The fund management held on to selected mid-sized and smaller securities - despite the difficult market environment - due to the business models that were promising for the long term. Among them were the solar collector manufacturer SolarWorld and Software AG."
Performance Review 2009
Henning Gebhardt: "The initially defensive positioning of the portfolio due to the global recession, with investment in the health care sector for example, was just as advantageous as the timely reallocation to financial stocks and equities more sensitive to economic cycles later in the period. The management thus took the change of mood on the stock market into account, because the first indications of a slowing of the economic downturn were becoming apparent. In terms of sectors and individual stocks, this meant that equities in the health care sector such as Fresenius Medical Care or Fresenius preferred stock were noticeably reduced. The portfolio invested instead in Deutsche Bank, which was well positioned in the bond issues segment and profited from a large number of newly issued bonds in the first quarter of 2009 as a result of the increased capital requirement of companies. Among industrials, the focus was on the world’s largest steel manufacturer, Arcelor-Mittal; this strategy was supported, among other factors, by the company’s better capital stock and its good market positioning in China, where the stabilization tendencies of the global economy were most pronounced. Furthermore, not investing in VW common stock also contributed to the outperformance of the fund. The stock recorded strong price decreases in light of the lack of takeover speculation (by Porsche) and the planned exclusion from the DAX. DWS Investa also participated in the price increase of selected small and mid-caps such as United Internet and Software AG."
Performance Review 2010
Henning Gebhardt: "Cyclical economically-sensitive consumer and industrial stocks made a good contribution to the performance. The management incorporated Continental into the portfolio for the first time and participated in the automotive supplier’s capital increase. The company experienced lively foreign demand; in China, in particular, demand for vehicles rose sharply. The equity price of Continental rose significantly, particularly in the second half of the fiscal year, at which time the fund had invested in the equity. The underweighting of utilities was also beneficial. Partial sales of E.ON and RWE were favored due to narrower margins in the electricity business and the large government influence combined with fears of additional regulation and taxation. Investments in the financial sector were also reduced. Reasons for this included the planned stricter capital requirements on banks. The lower weighting of Deutsche Bank with its strong position in investment banking was specifically due to the fact that a repeat of the exceptional year of 2009 was unlikely. Earnings climbed significantly at that time, as there was a flood of new issues due to companies’ high capital requirements. Including selected small and mediumsized equities boosted the performance of DWS Investa, which participated in successfully placing Axel Springer AG’s own shares and thus expanded investment in this stock. The company was strategically well placed and had begun focusing more closely on digital media. In addition, a recovery took place in the advertising market. Furthermore, this market segment focused on United Internet, as a slight recovery in its activities was noted. The internet service provider had a very good market position in Germany and a favorable global orientation. The prospect of rising advertising revenues also provided impetus here. The below-average performance in the solar sector, for example of SolarWorld, dampened the fund’s performance in relation to its benchmark. The companies faced more intensive competition from Asia. In addition, a reduction in feed-in compensation for solar power is planned in Germany and other European countries."
Performance Review 2011
Henning Gebhardt: "Der Bankensektor wurde im Portefeuille das gesamte Berichtsjahr untergewichtet und weiter reduziert, was sich im Vergleich zur Benchmark positiv auf die Wertentwicklung des Fonds auswirkte. Im Finanzbereich richtete sich der Fokus dafür etwas stärker auf Versicherungswerte (Allianz, Hannover Rückversicherung). Der Grund für die Underperformance des DWS Investa lag vornehmlich in der starken Präferenz für zyklische, konjunkturabhängige Aktien, besonders aus den Segmenten Automobile (BMW, VW) und Industrie. Diese zeigten in den ersten zehn Monaten angesichts des global freundlichen Wirtschaftsklimas einen überdurchschnittlichen Kursverlauf, ermäßigten sich jedoch zuletzt, als sich die Verschuldungsproblematik zuspitzte, sehr deutlich. Dennoch hielt das Management auch in dieser Phase an solchen Investments fest. Dafür sprachen die soliden Bilanzen der Unternehmen und die häufig attraktiven Dividendenzahlungen. Titel des Grundstoffsektors trugen ebenfalls zur Underperformance bei. Dazu gehörten ThyssenKrupp, Lanxess und Wacker Chemie. Im Verlauf der Berichtsperiode zeichnete sich darüber hinaus ein schwierigeres LKW-Geschäft ab. Deshalb kamen auch die Aktien von MAN und Daimler unter Druck. Zur Abrundung des Portefeuilles hielt das Management nach wie vor ausgewählte Mid und Small Caps. Die Engagements in Continental und Axel Springer verloren während der Marktschwäche gegen Ende der Berichtsperiode ebenfalls deutlich an Boden. Dennoch wurden diese Aktien nicht aus dem Portfolio genommen. Ähnlich wie bei den zyklischen Standardwerten stand hier die mittelfristige Entwicklung im Vordergrund, auch wenn vorübergehend Ertragseinbußen erwartet wurden. Investments in defensive Branchen boten deshalb kaum eine Alternative, da diese Unternehmen in Deutschland vor erheblichen strukturellen Problemen standen, so zum Beispiel der Pharmabereich. Hier fehlte die Dynamik in Bezug auf die Produktpipeline, die einen Mangel an neuen Medikamenten aufwies. Derivate hatten trotz der Vereinnahmung von Optionsprämien einen negativen Einfluss auf die Fondsperformance, weil die Puts auf einige Werte unter den Ausübungspreis gefallen waren."
Performance since 2006
Investment Process and Strategy – How does the Fund Manager invest?
Henning Gebhardt: "In constructing our portfolios, we are benchmark aware and not benchmark driven. We construct portfolios by identifying the most attractive sectors and companies to invest in and applying a risk framework to these positions in our portfolio construction process. We pursue a bottom-up approach to generate profitable investment strategies and stock picks. Besides that we rely on our complementary cross-market and sentiment analysis. The general portfolio construction is based on identified long-term themes and trends which act as rough navigation points.
The portfolio management leverages the in-house expertise, not only from the German Equity and European Small Mid Cap team, but also from sector and regional equity specialists and in addition from in-house experts across other asset classes (like commodities, fixed income, foreign exchange or multi asset). Through our integrated process we are able to identify these stocks having the most favorable prospects."
Henning Gebhardt: "Die anhaltende Wachstumsschwäche in der Eurozone sowie die Staatsschuldenkrise stellen weiterhin Belastungsfaktoren für den deutschen Aktienmarkt dar. Dennoch steht Deutschland im Vergleich zu seinen europäischen Nachbarn relativ gesund da. Ein robuster Arbeitsmarkt und eine stabile Konsumnachfrage sorgen für ein gesundes wirtschaftliches Binnenumfeld. Die Exporte sollten nicht so stark einbrechen wie in den Jahren 2008/09, da die Nachfrage aus Nordamerika und den Schwellenländern stabil erscheint. Dennoch sollten Anleger mit weiteren Gewinnwarnungen aus zyklischen Sektoren rechnen. Ein Rückgang der Unternehmensgewinne um circa 15% erscheint für das Jahr 2012 durchaus als realistisches Szenario. Auf Basis dieser Annahmen handelt der DAX aktuell bei einem Kurs-Gewinn-Verhältnis von 10,5 und einer Dividendenrendite von knapp 4%. Diese Bewertungskennziffern verdeutlichen - trotz aller Sorgen um die Weltwirtschaft - die Attraktivität der Assetklasse "Aktien Deutschland". Bei anhaltend niedrigen Zinsen und hoher Liquidität sollte der DAX bis zum Jahresende 2012 auf 6.600-6.700 Punkte steigen können, falls die Politik ihre Hausaufgaben zügig erledigt."