Phil Stone founded Fourthstone in 2013 in St Louis, Missouri. Fourthstone LLC focuses on banks, thrifts and other financial securities. Phil Stone tries to time the market by varying his fund's net exposure across long and short positions to generate absolute returns in both up and down markets. Fourthstone uses a "bottom-up" research process to pick individual stocks and a "top-down" approach to determine the fund's net exposure.
This approached worked like a charm during the fund's early years as the fund returned 24.1% in 2015, 44.2% in 2016, and 31.9% in 2017. However, as the fund's AUM crossed the $100 million threshold, its performance started to level off. Fourthstone's Master Opportunity Fund lost 2.4% in 2018, but outperformed the market by a small margin. The fund trailed the broader market in 2019, returning only 19.4%. Fourthstone also lost 24.4% during the first quarter of 2020. Overall, Fourthstone generated 15.6% annually since inception and has around $130 in assets under management (as of March 2020).