Does investing in 20 to 30 high quality stocks of successful, well-managed companies sound pretty good to you right now? Given the present downdraft in the market, funds like the Jensen Portfolio (symbol: JENSX) come into their own when times get tough.
The Fund House
For many investors, buying a dividend fund in a region noted for extraordinary growth seems, well, counterintuitive. Yet, the fund has returned 418% since inception which breaks down to a 16.54% annualized return according to Morningstar. Given that kind of performance, this may be a good way for conservative investors to invest in the hot spots of Asia.
It was no coincidence that we interviewed Bruce Berkowitz two weeks ago. The Fairholme Fund, which he manages, has been on my radar screen for the last few months. The fund is ranked by Lipper Analytical as one of their leaders over the last 3-and 5 year periods. In 2009, I noticed it was up over 41.48%, according to the company’s latest performance numbers on their website. Last year, although it was down 29%, the fund still managed to out perform its benchmark by 7%. Just this week, Morningstar, the premier mutual fund rating company, named Berkowitz the top U.S….
Finding small cap value stocks is a difficult job in the best of times. When you deliberately limit your horizons to just six states, south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the odds get even longer. Yet, Hancock Horizon’s Burkenroad Fund continually ranks in the top ten percent of funds in its class, according to Lipper Associates. Here’s how they do it.
Mutual funds that charge investors sales charges, called loads, should never be a part of your investment portfolio. And yet, in just about every portfolio I have reviewed in the last six months, that’s practically all I’ve seen. It is clear to me that investors who have retained the services of financial consultants, brokers and investment advisors are getting royally shafted when it comes to paying for their services (and they don’t even know it!).
Don Yacktman, his son, Stephen, and Jason Subotky, all portfolio managers of the Yacktman Fund and it’s sister the Yacktman Focus Fund, are not sitting on their duffs just because their funds are up over 51% and 48% respectively so far this year, according to Morningstar. And just because Mr. Yacktman is a finalist in a very small group of five fund managers being considered as “domestic fund manager of the decade”, doesn’t mean much to this veteran manager with 40 years experience.
This month the Supreme Court took up a case to determine whether mutual fund fees are being determined correctly and whether investors get enough information to adequately understand the fees they are paying. The case, Harris Associates v Jones, pits a well-known mutual fund family against individual investors who claim they are charged twice as much in fees as institutional investors. This, they claim, has violated the fiduciary responsibility that fund managers and other Registered Investment Advisors owe to investors as set forth by Congress under Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and most recently under ERISA.
Funny how things work, take the reputation of the Permanent Portfolio Fund, for example: disciplined, conservative, comprehensive asset allocation while protecting purchasing power. All that and a little growth thrown in to keep your nest egg from stagnating, not bad if you are an investor who is looking for a haven from today’s volatility.
Most days you’ll find Anton Schutz, the portfolio manager of the Burnham Financial Industries Fund (BURFX), in and around Rochester, N.Y. far from the canyons of Wall Street in lower Manhattan. It certainly hasn’t hurt his fund’s performance however, since it ranks among the top two percent of all U.S. equity funds this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
There was a time when Steve Lehman was the lone bear in a building full of bulls. Now, he is one among many. The 51-year-old Lehman and P.M. Dana Meissner, 40, are about 40% in cash, long commodities companies and have been outperforming the indexes since September of last year.
From time to time, a really interesting fund will come to my attention. One such fund, the ETF Market Opportunity Fund (ETFOX), has chalked up some impressive returns over the last several years and appears ready to offer investors a rewarding and safe ride out of this recession. Better yet, the manager, Paul Frank, is a local boy living with his family in Old Chatham, New York.