Sun Life MFS Funds all have one thing in common – The Funds are invested for the long term. Simply put, this means that the companies MFS Investment Management1 selects for the Sun Life MFS Funds will stay in the mix for the long haul.

Why do Sun Life MFS Funds all share this investment philosophy? Because long-term discipline is one of the three pillars of investment success at MFS, a company who created the first U.S. open-end mutual fund in 1924, a century ago.

Throughout its history, MFS has sought out positive returns by investing for the long term. Holding stocks for long periods is one way MFS stays true to its convictions. Three elements make up this investment strategy.

Thinking long term

MFS typically takes a long-term position in a stock and does not get involved in short-term speculation.

What’s the purpose of holding stocks for a long period of time, up to 5 to 10 years in some cases? To avoid short-term market noise. MFS has the patience to wait for stocks to reach their full potential value. They believe that investing with a long-term perspective is the best way to deliver the risk-adjusted returns that investors need. Also, as long-term investors they use robust research from their global platform to build conviction.

The clearest example goes back to 1924, when MFS was founded. Portfolio managers purchased shares in two of the biggest companies of the day. Those two names were in the MFS portfolio for roughly 90 years.

Sustainability and responsible investing are key

MFS factors environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into its research. Understanding what can affect a company's sustainable value now and in the future is the key to allocating capital responsibly over the long term.

MFS encourages companies to integrate ESG factors into their business strategy instead of focusing on returns alone. It prefers to engage in discussions with company management around ESG factors to understand all aspects of risk that may affect that company.

MFS’s driving philosophy is to allocate capital responsibly. Responsible ownership is a time intensive process. They feel that it entails engaging with the firms that you invest in at a management level but, most important of all, it entails active participation at a governance level.

It’s why MFS also incorporates sustainability or ESG factors into their long-term research. At this level, driving change towards forward-looking and more sustainable practices benefits both society and investors, but it takes time. They feel that only patient investors may get to reap the considerable benefits of these transformations over time.

Continuity and succession planning

The long-term perspective also factors into succession planning at MFS. It takes a generational view of continuity.

Long-term discipline is essential to make sure its investment process is repeatable and reliable. As a result, MFS carefully develops each generation of investment talent within the teams that manage the funds, from fund managers to the leadership teams.

Ultimately, by holding shares for long periods and staying true to its convictions, MFS creates long-term value by investing responsibly. And that is a hallmark of the Sun Life MFS Funds.

With a vast range of global expertise, long-term discipline and active risk management, Sun Life MFS Funds can help you seize opportunities around the world.

1MFS Investment Management Canada Limited is the sub-advisor to the Sun Life MFS Funds; SLGI Asset Management Inc. is the registered portfolio manager. MFS Investment Management Canada Limited has appointed MFS Institutional Advisors, Inc. to provide additional sub-advisory services.

The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors and are subject to change at any time. Views expressed regarding a particular company, security, industry or market sector should not be considered an indication of trading intent of any mutual funds managed by SLGI Asset Management Inc. or sub-advised by MFS Investment Management. These views are subject to change and are not to be considered as investment advice nor should they be considered a recommendation to buy or sell.

The information provided is not intended to be investment advice. Investors should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs when planning to implement an investment strategy to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly, and action is taken based on the latest available information.