Meet the Next Bill Miller

Every fund investor knows Bill Miller of Legg Mason Value Trust (FUND: LMVTX  ) . His 15 consecutive years of beating the S&P 500 is astounding. But now, investors want to know who could beat his mark.

Morningstar has six candidates, each of which has outperformed the S&P for eight consecutive years:

Fund

Expense
ratio

Load?

8-year
CAGR

+/- S&P 500

Cambiar Opportunity

1.18%

No

12.2%

8.8%

Manning & Napie
Pro-Blend Maximum
Term A

1.16%

No

11.8%

8.4%

American Fundamental
Investors

0.60%

5.75% front-end

8.6%

5.2%

T. Rowe Price
Spectrum Growth

0.83%

No

7.2%

3.8%

Goldman Sachs
Growth Strategy

1.30%

5.50% front-end

6.8%

3.4%

Target Growth
Allocation

1.38%

5.50% front-end

6.4%

3.0%

Source: Morningstar
*T. Rowe Price Spectrum Growth and Goldman Sachs Growth Strategy comprise other funds.


I take three things from this list. First, you needn't pay for results. Look at the top two performers. Neither charges a fee to invest. Nor does T. Rowe Price Spectrum Growth. Of the top four, only American Fundamental Investors charges a load.

Second, management matters. Bargain hunter Brian Barish has roughly $2 million in savings at stake in Cambiar Opportunity, which he's managed since the fund's inception in June 1998.

Third, flexibility counts. Miller is just as comfortable swinging for the fences -- think Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) -- as he is going for the base hit -- think Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) . Similarly, list-topper Barish will speculate on turnarounds at Infineon (NYSE: IFX  ) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) while bulking up on by-the-numbers cheap stocks like Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) and Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM  ) . That touch of creativity has me wondering whether Barish, who's still relatively unknown, will remain obscure for much longer.

Why streaks don't matter
But, of course, streaks don't really matter. If anyone proves that, it's Joe DiMaggio -- baseball's Bill Miller. Known best for his 56-game hitting streak, DiMaggio is enshrined in baseball's Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., not because of the streak, but because he hit .325 with two batting titles and had more than 2,200 hits over 13 seasons.

The splendid careers of both prove that it's a long-term commitment to results that matters most. It's what separates those who are in Cooperstown from those who aren't. And, in investing, it separates the seriously rich from ... well, everyone else.

That's why, at Motley Fool Champion Funds, advisor Shannon Zimmerman says to invest only in no-load funds run by tenured managers who, like Barish, have a big chunk of their personal wealth invested alongside you. Shannon's fund recommendations are collectively up more than 13 percentage on their benchmarks as a result. Intrigued? Test-drive the service free for 30 days and you'll have access to his list of recommended funds. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a Fool for funds and likes his stocks sizzling. Tim didn't own shares in any of the stocks or funds mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Home Depot and Intel are Inside Value picks. Washington Mutual is an Income Investor choice. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is always championship caliber.


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