The Fidelity Contrafund and Low-Priced Stock Fund are about to reopen.
According to Bloomberg's Christopher Condon, the $51.5 billion (as of October 31) Contra has fallen 44 percent year-to-date, in line with the S&P 500, while $19.9 billion Low-Priced Stock has fallen 52 percent.
"We believe reopening the funds will bring some equilibrium to cash flows in order to ensure that their portfolio managers can most effectively direct their investments strategies," stated equity investing chief Walter Donovan.
Company Press Release
BOSTON, December 2, 2008 - Fidelity Investments® today announced that it will reopen Fidelity Contrafund and Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund to new investors and accounts, effective December 16, 2008. The funds have been closed to new accounts since April 2006 and December 2003, respectively.
"We make decisions to close or reopen funds on a case-by-case basis, but these funds share some common characteristics that prompted us to take action on both of them at this time," said Walter C. Donovan, president, Equity Division, Fidelity Management & Research Company. "The vast majority of the assets invested in both funds - 88 percent for Contrafund and 85 percent for Low-Priced Stock Fund - are earmarked for retirement. As the shareholder bases of these funds have matured, in the normal course of investing, many shareholders have continued to redeem assets as they've met their financial goals. Since the funds have been closed, they have not been able to generate sufficient levels of new sales to offset current and future redemptions. We believe reopening the funds will help bring some equilibrium to cash flows in order to ensure that their portfolio managers can most effectively direct their investment strategies."
Fidelity Contrafund seeks capital appreciation by normally investing primarily in the common stocks of companies whose value the portfolio manager believes is not fully recognized by the public. The fund may invest in the common stocks of domestic and foreign issuers, and may invest in either "growth" stocks, "value" stocks, or both. Contrafund has been managed by Will Danoff since 1990.
"I am very supportive of reopening Contrafund because I'm convinced it's the right thing to do for the fund's shareholders at this time," said Danoff. "The recent market volatility has created investment opportunities with stock prices down so significantly from their highs. If we can garner some inflows to balance redemptions that will continue to occur due to natural attrition, I'll have cash on hand to be able to act quickly on my best ideas."
Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund seeks capital appreciation by normally investing at least 80 percent of its assets in stocks that are priced at or below $35 per share currently or at the time of the investment. It also may invest in the common stocks of domestic and foreign issuers, and may invest in either "growth" stocks, "value" stocks, or both. Joel Tillinghast has managed the fund since its inception in 1989.
"I share the same feelings as Will with regard to seeing more and better buying opportunities in the market due to the recent downdraft in stock prices, and in the potential benefit to the fund of stronger cash inflows," said Tillinghast. "Shareholders of both of our funds know that we've closed them and reopened them before and - after managing our respective portfolios for more than 18 years - we have great confidence in Fidelity's and its portfolio managers' commitment to always making these decisions in the interests of fund shareholders."
Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with custodied assets of nearly $2.7 trillion, including managed assets of over $1.2 trillion as of October 31, 2008. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement planning, brokerage, and human resources and benefits outsourcing services to 24 million individuals and institutions as well as through 5,500 financial intermediary firms. The firm is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket and a leading online brokerage firm. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.