Dear Fellow Wintergreen Fund Shareholder,
EXCERPT FROM THE 2012 ANNUAL REPORT SHAREHOLDER LETTER
Since its inception on October 17, 2005, Wintergreen Fund, Inc. Investor Class (the “Investor Class”) has a cumulative performance which compares very favorably to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index’s (“S&P 500”) cumulative return. The Investor Class performance for 2012 underperformed the S&P 500. Wintergreen Fund, Inc.’s (the “Fund”) performance in 2012 was due, in part, to strong returns from holdings in Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., Swatch Group AG, and Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA. Securities that underperformed during 2012 included holdings in Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Birchcliff Energy Ltd., and Anglo American plc. The Fund also utilized forward currency contracts which had a slightly negative impact on performance.
The Fund’s positive performance during 2011 and its underperformance in 2012 are primarily attributable to certain sectors. Banks, Technology, Telecom, and Healthcare are among the sectors that fell the most in 2011 and then rallied the most in 2012, particularly during the first quarter. Wintergreen continues to believe that the best long-term opportunities lie outside of these sectors. During periods of time when the Fund’s security selections are out of favor, it is to be expected that performance will be lower. Those are the times when the Fund accumulates what it believes are quality holdings that are temporarily out of step with the broader market. We believe these investments should benefit long-term shareholders as the true value of these holdings is realized by the markets.
Our investment analysis always includes the quality of management as a critical factor in determining the attractiveness of an investment. On occasion, the core of the company is the personification of its leader and is evidenced by the vision, courage, hard work, dedication, and common sense of that person, partnership, or family. Within our Wintergreen portfolio, we have many examples of excellent leaders.
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
— Milton Berle
David J. Winters, CFA
The views contained in this report are those of the Fund’s portfolio manager as of December 31, 2012, and may not reflect his views on the date this report is first published or anytime thereafter. The preceding examples of specific investments are included to illustrate the Fund’s investment process and strategy. There can be no assurance that such investments will remain represented in the Fund’s portfolios. Holdings and allocations are subject to risks and to change. The views described herein do not constitute investment advice, are not a guarantee of future performance, and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.
The Fund is subject to several risks, any of which could cause an investor to lose money. The Fund may purchase risk arbitrage securities (securities of companies involved in a restructuring) or distressed companies. These companies may not be successful in their restructuring and securities of distressed companies are generally more likely to become worthless than securities of more financially stable companies. Smaller companies involve substantial risk as these securities are traditionally more volatile in price than larger company securities. Securities rated below investment grade, sometimes called junk bonds, involve a greater degree of risk than investment grade bonds in return for higher yield potential. The Fund may be subject to interest rate risk which is the risk that debt securities in the Fund's portfolio will decline in value because of increases in market interest rates. By participating in derivative securities, the Fund may attempt to hedge (protect) against currency risk which is the risk that the value of foreign securities may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates. Derivatives can be volatile and involve various types and degrees of risks, depending upon the characteristics of a particular derivative. International investing involves certain risks and increased volatility not associated with investing solely in the U.S. These risks include currency fluctuations, economic or financial instability, lack of timely or reliable financial information or unfavorable political or legal developments. These risks are magnified in emerging markets. Short sale risk is the risk that the Fund will incur an unlimited loss if the price of a security sold short increases between the time of the short sale and the time the Fund replaces the borrowed security.
In light of these risks, the Fund may not be suitable for all investors.
Before investing you should carefully consider the Fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain this and additional information regarding the Fund. To obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus, please download from this site or call toll-free 1-888-468-6473. The prospectus and summary prospectus should be read carefully before investing. This website is not a solicitation for the Fund outside of the United States.
Foreside Fund Services, LLC, distributor (www.foreside.com)