Appleseed, being a value fund, tends to outperform in #$%$ markets and underperform in boom markets. It's not a fund for anyone with a short-term perspective. And since it has a large holding of gold, the fact that's it's performed as well as it has says good things. I see it as a long-term hedge against both inflation and recession.
This fund had a 5-star Morningstar Rating when I bought it at Schwab. Since then, it's fallen to an inferior 2 stars. I see no reason to sell, because it's up about 15% since purchase, in the middle of my portfolio gains. Schwab had another 5-star fund, the "Permanent Fund," promising good performance in all kinds of markets through a disciplined, back-tested, rotating mix of stocks, bonds, commodities. I'm glad I went with Appleseed, because in a bull market Permanent Fund is positioned to be a perpetually static stock, its lack of movement threatening those who don't factor in inflation numbers that make some investors losers even when the fund doesn't lose money.
The problem with Appleseed dan be seen in its electic, and eccentric, portfolio. Why would a fund with a name implying faith in the growth of a new nation become obsessed with the dead metal, allowing it to occupy 20% or more of the total portfoilo? George Eliot's Silas Marner comes to mind as someone who placed a similar bet, struck to his guns, and may as well have aimed both barrells at his head. Moreover, what's with the purchase of "physical gold" through Sprott distribution? That sort of thinking smacks of right-wing, Glenn Beck-type hysteria, or paranoia. It's a regressive rather than progressive view of America and its future. If you feel compelled to be in the tarnished metal, why not GLD, which gives you the convenience of in-and-out adjustments according to the metal's price action, or lack of it?
Sometimes it pays to go where no one else does. Who would have guessed that Western Union would be so successful in the age of Paymate? And if Priceline can reach $1000 per share, what's to keep Expedia from reaching $100? What was wrong with Nokia at $2-3? And instead of Titan, why not the dependable, A-rated (by Schwab) Dana Holding? Anyway, a fund that comes within just 2-3 percentage points of matching the S&P500 in this hot market is a "hold," Morningstar ratings be damned..