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Monday, January 05, 2009

At Least There Was One

by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Monday's Wall Street Journal doles out coverage to several mutual fund managers, much of it positive. Suzanne McGee points to Tom Forester's Forrester Value Fund as the only fund to make a positive return in Morningstar's 1,700-fund universe of diversified U.S. stock funds with more than $50 million and at least three years under their belts. The fund gained 0.4 percent in 2008 and holds $50.2 million. Mario Gabelli's Gabelli ABC Fund came in second in the WSJ's quarterly "Winner's Circle" with a loss of 2.6 percent (and $179 million) for the past 12 months.

Karen Damato highlights the $318 million Manning & Napier Pro-Blend Maximum Term Series as the only stock or balanced mutual fund that has beaten the S&P 500 for the past decade, though it lost 35.4 percent in 2008 (compared with 37 percent for the S&P). The Rochester, New York-based manager works with about $16 billion in total.

Meanwhile, FPA Capital fund manager Robert Rodriguez might find Diya Gullapalli's profile to be more of a mixed blessing. Gullapali uses Rodriguez as an example of someone who, despite being "correct about the big picture," (Rodriguez pointed our "investment foolishness" in the market and criticized Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG as early as 2005), still delivered "disappointing results" in 2008: in this case, a loss of 35 percent. 

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