This year marks our 90th anniversary. It is hard to believe that Adams started in October 1929, just days before the Great Depression began. While the timing was inauspicious, we were fortunate not to have been fully invested and to have recognized the opportunity provided by the stock market’s sell-off. By focusing on identifying strong companies that would outperform over the long-term, we have grown our assets from $177 million in 1929 to approximately $2.4 billion today – and that’s after returning billions in distributions to our shareholders over the past nine decades.
Mark E. Stoeckle
Chief Executive Officer
Over the years we have endured other economic downturns and stock market sell-offs by staying true to the principles that guided Adams in our early years. “The company is not interested in day-to-day or month-to-month trading operations,” noted George E. Clark, Adams’ 11th chairman (1948-1970). “Rather, the emphasis is directed to longer-term investment policies, first for leading industries, then for leading companies in those [areas].”
When Adams started, our investments consisted primarily of railroads, industrials, and utilities. At the time, these were the drivers of the economy. Today, while our investments have changed, our philosophy of investing in what is important to the economy endures. Our portfolio now consists of a broad, diverse group of companies that are driving economic growth, including leading technology, health care, consumer, and financial companies.
In addition to taking a long-term view of our investments, we believe that our team approach to investing has been an important driver of our performance. Our investment team is made up of portfolio managers and sector analysts who work collaboratively. We believe what sets us apart is people, discipline, process, and execution.
Again, to quote our past Chairman George Clark: “In our company, research and management work together as one large group. In the final analysis, our job revolves around research and the application of judgement…and we feel this can best be accomplished by team effort.”
Surviving the Great Depression had a lasting impact on an entire generation. Our company was no different. Adams is one of less than a dozen funds in operation today to survive the Great Depression. Although we were unable to pay dividends to our shareholders from 1932 to 1935, we emerged from this time with a renewed appreciation for disciplined expense management, which has helped us keep expenses low for our shareholders. Before the Great Depression was over, Adams reinstated our dividend and has paid dividends every year since.
As we celebrate 90 years, we would like to thank our employees, both past and present, for their hard work and dedication, and our shareholders for their unwavering trust. We know that many of our shareholders pass down their shares to younger generations and are proud of the fact that an investment of $10,000 in ADX on December 31, 1929, with all dividends and capital gains reinvested since, would have grown to a market value of $29,141,115 on December 31, 2018.
We appreciate your trust in us and look forward to the next 90 years.
Chief Executive Officer