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Rating:A Fidelity Stockpicker Ponders His 2008 Missteps Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Fidelity Stockpicker Ponders His 2008 Missteps

by: Armie Margaret Lee

In Tuesday's Wall Street Journal Fund Track column, Jon Kamp picks up Fidelity Contrafund manager Will Dannoff's comments, published in Fidelity's Web site, on how the fund fared last year. Returns in the fund, which reopened to new investors in mid-December (see The MFWire, 12/02/09), fell 37.2 percent in 2008, roughly mirroring the drop in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index and outperforming Fidelity Magellan and Fidelity Growth & Income Portfolio.

Danoff said he is "very disappointed" with his fund's result and adds that he takes "no solace" in nearly matching the S&P's performance.

"I was late in reducing some of my holdings in the tech sector," Danoff said, pointing to Google, Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

"In retrospect, I was too ebullient about their long-term prospects," he said, adding that his stock choices in the retailing and capital-good sectors "also hurt" last year.
On the other hand, the fund benefited from its huge stake in biotech firm Genetech and Danoff's decision to pass over "big problems" among financials stocks including AIG and Citigroup.

Looking forward, Danoff said that given efforts by governments and central banks to stabilize the global economy, "I believe it is possible that the outlook for corporate profit growth and equity prices could improve by the end of 2009." 

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