Q2 2020 : Portfolio Manager Q&A

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Would you please discuss the Fund’s recent name change?

The Fund’s name was changed, effective May 1, 2020, to better reflect the Fund’s focused portfolio of 25-50 growth-oriented companies. The investment objective has not changed, and the Fund will continue to seek long-term growth of capital.

Would you please comment on the Fund’s quarterly performance relative to the benchmark and its Morningstar category?

The Fund rose 22.22% for the three months ended June 30, 2020, outperforming the S&P 500 Index, which increased 20.54%, but underperformed the Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth Funds category average return of 30.01%.

Without a doubt, 2020 so far has been marked by extraordinary circumstances, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much uncertainty surrounding the stock market, we believe it is important for investors to maintain a long-term perspective. The Fund has outperformed the Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth Funds category average return for the 3, 5 and 10-year periods ended June 30, 2020. We believe the Fund’s long-term outperformance is primarily due to our stringent investment process of owning companies with 10+ years of consistent growth in both stock price and earnings.

How does the Fund’s risk/reward profile compare to its peers?

Source: Morningstar as of 6/30/20

We believe that our investment approach of owning companies with a long-term history of consistent growth in both stock price and earnings has contributed to the Fund’s attractive risk/reward profile. In fact, the Fund has been awarded Morningstar’s “Low” risk rating for the 3, 5 and 10-year periods ended June 30, 2020. In addition, the Fund’s risk-adjusted return, measured by Sharpe ratio, ranked in the top 1% among the Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth Funds category for the 10-year period as of June 30, 2020.

What type of companies meet your investment criteria, and what changes were made to the portfolio in the quarter?

We look at companies on an individual basis, selecting those that meet our criteria, rather than being tied to any target sector weightings. As a result, the Fund’s sector weightings are a compilation of individual company attractiveness. These companies tend to typically offer goods and services that experience consistent demand regardless the economic conditions and often fall within the Information Technology (IT) and Industrials industries.

For example, we own Accenture PLC (ACN), an IT company that services a variety of sectors. Another long-time Fund holding is Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN) which provides waste collection and recycling services in the U.S. and Canada. As of June 30, 2020, the Fund had weightings of 34% in the IT sector and 29% in the Industrials sector, as compared to the S&P 500 Index, which held 27% and 8% in those sectors, respectively.

In the second quarter, we did not add any new companies to the Fund, although we sold three companies which no longer met our stringent long-term growth criteria: electronics manufacturer AMETEK (AME), fiber optic cable producer Amphenol (APH), and pest control company Rollins (ROL). As of June 30, 2020, the Select Growth Fund held 36 companies.

Average Annual Returns as of 06/30/20

QTD 1 Yr 3 Yr 5 Yr 10 Yr 15 Yr
Investor - VALSX 22.22% 8.05% 15.20% 12.53% 14.53% 10.08%
Institutional - VILSX1 22.31 8.14 15.23 12.55 14.54 10.09
S&P 500 Index 20.54 7.51 10.73 10.73 13.99 8.83
Morningstar Mid-Cap Growth Category Average 30.01 9.32 12.17 9.40 12.93 8.66
Morningstar Cat. Rank (%) 53 28 22 34 43
# of Funds in Category 602 558 500 381 273
Morningstar Risk Low Low Low
VALSX Gross / Net Expense Ratio: 1.16%, VILSX Gross / Net Expense Ratio*: 0.91%.
Morningstar rates funds based on enhanced Morningstar risk-adjusted returns.
Morningstar rates funds based on enhanced Morningstar risk-adjusted returns.
1 Indicates Morningstar Extended Performance. Extended performance is an estimate based on the performance of the fund's oldest share class, adjusted for fees. The Inception Date of VILSX is April 30, 2020.

As of 06/30/20, the Fund’s Top 10 Holdings were as follows: Danaher Corp (6.38%), Accenture PLC Class A (5.76%), Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (5.56%), Mastercard Inc A (5.28%), Salesforce.com Inc (5.00%), Ansys Inc (4.44%), Roper Technologies Inc (4.26%), Cintas Corp (4.19%), Waste Connections Inc (3.97%), IDEXX Laboratories Inc (3.50%)

There are risks associated with investing in small and mid cap stocks, which tend to be more volatile and less liquid than stocks of large companies, including the risk of price fluctuations.

The performance data quoted herein represents past performance and does not guarantee future results. Market volatility can dramatically impact the fund's short term performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than figures shown. The investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost. Past performance data through the most recent month end is available at vlfunds.com or by calling 800.243.2729.

You should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of Value Line Funds before investing. This and other information can be found in the fund's prospectus and summary prospectus, which can be obtained free of charge from your investment representative, by calling 800.243.2729, or by clicking on the applicable fund at www.vlfunds.com. Please read it carefully before you invest or send money. Value Line Funds are distributed by EULAV Securities LLC. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Portfolio holdings are subject to change and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell securities. Current and future portfolio holdings are subject to risk.

The average annual returns shown above are historical and reflect changes in share price, reinvested dividends and are net of expenses. Investment results and the principal value of an investment will vary.

The Morningstar Rating™ for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are: 100% three- year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating/40% three-year rating for 60-119 months of total returns, and 50% 10-year rating/30% five-year rating/20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the 10-year overall star rating formula seems to give the most weight to the 10-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods. VLIFX (3 Year / 4 stars / 557 funds; 5 Year / 4 stars / 500 funds; 10 Year / 4 stars / 380 funds; ) VALLX (3 Year / 3 stars / 1229 funds; 5 Year / 3 stars / 1095 funds; 10 Year / 3 stars / 813 funds; ) VLEOX (3 Year / 3 stars / 579 funds; 5 Year / 3 stars / 513 funds; 10 Year / 4 stars / 384 funds; ) VALSX (3 Year / 4 stars / 557 funds; 5 Year / 4 stars / 500 funds; 10 Year / 4 stars / 380 funds; ) VLAAX (3 Year / 5 stars / 638 funds; 5 Year / 5 stars / 581 funds; 10 Year / 5 stars / 414 funds; ) VALIX (3 Year / 5 stars / 310 funds; 5 Year / 5 stars / 279 funds; 10 Year / 5 stars / 190 funds; ) VAGIX (3 Year / 2 stars / 380 funds; 5 Year / 2 stars / 335 funds; 10 Year / 3 stars / 255 funds; ) VLHYX (3 Year / 2 stars / 146 funds; 5 Year / 1 stars / 132 funds; 10 Year / 1 stars / 106 funds; )

Source: Morningstar Direct