COMMENTARY: Managed Futures Strategy Fund March 2018

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Commentary in PDF format.


  • Equities: Long MSCI Taiwan Index
  • Fixed income: Long Italian 10-year bond
  • Currencies: Long British pound versus Australian dollar
  • Commodities: Long Carbon Dioxide Emissions
  • Equities: Short SPI 200 Index
  • Fixed income: Short U.S. 30-year bond
  • Currencies: Short U.S. dollar versus Swiss franc
  • Commodities: Long Aluminum

Past Commentaries

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018


The fund returned a loss of -2.38% in March, as losses in fixed income and equities offset gains in commodities.

Equities continue to look weak after the volatility in February and amid heightened rhetoric about tariffs and trade wars. All major equity markets ended the month lower. China, Germany and Japan all lost approximately -3%.

Commodities posted mixed results with the energy complex generally strengthening along with gold. However, base metals weakened amid ongoing protectionist fears. Oil ultimately rose on the back of uncertainties in the Middle East and supply concerns in the United States. Brent crude closed more than +5% higher while gold traded in line with risk sentiment related to tariffs and a weaker U.S. dollar.

Despite a rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve and some hawkish comments from the Federal Reserve, the dollar generally weakened. The British pound sterling was a notable outperformer as the United Kingdom and Europe reached a draft Brexit deal that included a 21-month transition period. This saw the sterling rise by more than +1% versus the U.S. dollar.

Performance (as of 3/31/2018)
The Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses for the Longboard Managed Futures Strategy Fund class A and I are 3.13% and 2.88% respectively. The maximum sales charge for Class A (Max Load) shares is 5.75%. The performance data quoted here represents past performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted above. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so that shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. For performance information current to the most recent month-end, please call toll-free 855-294-7540 or visit our website, www.longboardfunds.com. There is no guarantee that any investment will achieve its objectives, generate positive returns, or avoid losses.


Markets are in a “wait and see” mode in a number of areas with new geopolitical tensions testing the resilience of equities. Trade wars are of concern to investors for several reasons. First, the implications may cause sharp price reversals in the market with immediate effects – most recently, steel and aluminum. Second, tariffs often provide more questions than answers. The long-term impact at the market level remains to be seen.

While investors wait for further clarity and new developments, we remain focused on our commitment to robust risk management. The first quarter of the year has taught many market participants an important lesson – things change quickly. Conditions are testing many assumptions on market correlations and risk management. We remain committed to our disciplined, rules-based strategies with a relentless focus on risk management.


Following an unsettling February, equities continued to falter in March. German and Japanese markets each weakened by nearly 3%, however emerging markets, with the exception of China, generally outperformed. In the United States, the ‘FANG’ stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) weakened significantly because of data privacy concerns.

We closed a long position in the Indian Nifty Index and our overall exposure to equities continues to decline.


Global fixed income generally rallied due to concerns about potential trade wars and an expected 25bp hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve. In Europe, an inconclusive Italian election and ongoing Brexit negotiations were key drivers of fixed income yields. Geopolitical uncertainties drove the macro themes within the sector domestically and abroad.

We opened new long positions in Japanese Government Bonds and closed long positions in EuroSwiss futures. Our overall exposure to fixed income remains stable.


Despite a hawkish tilt to the December “dots” from the Fed and a stronger-than-expected employment number, the U.S. dollar weakened versus British pound sterling, euro and Japanese yen. The selling pressure ebbed slightly towards the end of the month as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the U.S. and China could reach an agreement on trade.

We closed long positions in the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar, and the euro versus the Japanese yen. We closed short positions in the U.S. dollar versus the Swedish Krona and opened long positions in the Mexican peso versus the U.S. dollar. Our overall risk in currencies remains stable with a bias for a weaker U.S. dollar.


Oil strengthened with a surprise decline in U.S. inventories towards the end of the month. In metals, gold benefitted as geopolitical tensions spurred investors to seek traditional safe havens. Even so, palladium and aluminum weakened significantly. In agricultural commodities, sugar weakened by approximately 7% and lean hogs strengthened by more than 16%.

We established new long positions in cocoa and new short positions in lean hogs, cattle, oats, palm oil and Tokyo platinum. Meanwhile, we closed short positions in wheat and London cocoa. We also closed long positions in Tokyo gold and lead. Our overall commodity exposure increased slightly in March.

Commodity Market
A physical or virtual marketplace for buying, selling, and trading raw or primary product such as natural resources, agricultural products, and livestock.
Forward Contract
A non-standardized contract between two parties to buy or sell a specified asset of specified quantity with delivery and payment occurring on a specified date.
Futures Contract
A standardized contract between two parties to buy or sell a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality with delivery and payment occurring on a specified date.
Buying an asset such as a stock, commodity or currency with the expectation that the asset will rise in value.
Risk Allocation
The estimated maximum equity a position could lose, divided by the estimated aggregate equity currently at risk of loss across all positions inthe portfolio.
Selling an asset such as a stock, commodity or currency, with the expectation that the asset will decrease in value.
Holding periods averaging greater than one year.


Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Longboard Managed Futures Strategy Fund. This and other important information about the Fund is contained in the prospectus, which can be obtained at https://www.longboardfunds.com or by calling 855-294-7540. The prospectus should be read carefully before investing. The Longboard Managed Futures Strategy Fund is distributed by Northern Lights Distributors, LLC, a FINRA/SIPC member. Longboard Asset Management, LP, is not affiliated with Northern Lights Distributors, LLC.


Mutual funds involve risk including possible loss of principal. The fund will invest a percentage of its assets in derivatives, such as commodities, futures and options contracts. The use of such derivatives and the resulting high portfolio turnover may expose the fund to additional risks that it would not be subject to, if it invested directly in the securities and commodities underlying those derivatives. The fund may experience losses that exceed those experienced by funds that do not use futures contracts, options and commodities. Changes in interest rates and the liquidity of certain investments could affect the fund’s overall performance. The fund is non-diversified and as a result, changes in the value of a single security may have significant effect on the fund’s value. Other risks include credit risks and investments in fixed income securities, structured notes, asset-backed securities and foreign investments. Furthermore, the use of short positions and leveraging can magnify the potential for gain or loss and amplify the effects of market volatility on the fund’s share price. The fund is subject to regulatory change and tax risks. Changes to current regulation or taxation rules could increase costs associated with an investment in the Fund.