Meet The Manager: Bill Barker
Bill Barker has worked for Motley Fool Asset Management since its inception in 2009, which makes him our longest-tenured portfolio manager. He’s the lead manager on our Mid Cap Growth Fund and he also contributes research for our Global Opportunities Fund. Bill is known around the office for his incisive wit, deadpan delivery, and crab-picking acumen. He’s also an accomplished writer and court tennis player. Bill is a frequent guest on Motley Fool Money, a popular podcast produced by our sister company, The Motley Fool, LLC.
Bill lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife Diana. They have three children and an ever-increasing number of dogs. Here he is, in his own words:
[My name is] Bill Barker. I am the lead portfolio manager for the Small Mid Growth Fund, and [I’m] on the portfolio management team for Global Opportunities Fund.
How Long Have You Worked At Motley Fool Asset Management?
Since inception. I’m the oldest surviving member of the portfolio management team – the only one from the very first day that MFAM was getting started 10 years ago.
How Would You Describe Your Investing Style?
My investing style focuses on finding quality growth companies that are still available at a good price. I tend to look at companies with a demonstrated history of good capital allocation and ones that can compound growth through reinvesting profits back into the business – either through organic growth, share repurchases, or acquisitions.
What’s One Investing Story You’re Watching Closely?
Right now, I’m watching the valuation of the market pretty closely – keeping an eye on that … and in that regard, specifically where profit margins are going. They are at extremely elevated levels right now. There are a number of bears who argue that those profit margins have to revert back to a lower level. As history would indicate, they usually do.
So I’m focusing on what industries [where] that reversion could be most likely and become trouble for investors and where I think it’s not likely to revert.
What’s Your Favorite Sector or Company To Follow?
We’ve had a healthy investment in our funds to [recreational vehicles] for a little while. They had a tough year last year in their stocks; it got very cheap at the end of last year. But it’s been fun over the last 8 to 10 years that we’ve been investing in them to see the progression of RVs and the evolution of the story there. There’s still a lot of room to grow, I think, for the RV industry.
How Would Your Wife Describe You?
Tall … I think. Possibly too willing to acquire more and more pets.
What’s one common mistake you’d like to see investors avoid?
Don’t sell too soon. A quality company that has the opportunity to grow at above market rates for a decade, and compound that growth or anything even approaching a decade, tends to be an excellent investment to hold onto, even when you see the stock price get mildly above what you expected to see.
Any discussion of individual companies on this page is not intended as a recommendation to buy, hold or sell securities issued by those companies. The holdings of MFAM Funds may change at any time and are subject to risk. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk.