A Fund for Mom: Cambiar Opportunity

The Motley Fool crew is no ship of fools. We're putting Mom first, and so should you. Check out all of the Fool's Mother's Day articles.  

Mother's Day is a sham. Think about it. How often do we really give our moms the day off? How about never?

We're just as guilty here at the Fool. Today's list of stocks for mom, while a nice gesture, creates work. Picking stocks isn't something to be done breezily, and your mom doesn't want to read a stack of annual reports.

So, I've decided to zig as my colleagues zag today. I want to give my Mom a real investing gift -- one that requires (literally!) no more than 15 minutes of upkeep a year.

That's right: I'm giving my Mom a mutual fund. And not just any fund, but one that has beaten the S&P 500 for eight years running. Mom, meet the team at Cambiar Opportunity (FUND: CAMOX  ) :

Cambiar Opportunity (CAMOX)

Expense ratio

1.20%

Fund size

$1.67 billion

1-year return

12.37%

5-year return

11.09%

10-year return

N/A

Source: Cambiar Investors, as of 4/30/2007.

Top 5 holdings

Company

% of Assets

Infineon Technologies (NYSE:IFX)

4.0%

Western Union (NYSE:WU)

4.0%

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

3.9%

CVS/Caremark (NYSE:CVS)

3.3%

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)

3.2%

Source: Cambiar Investors, as of 3/31/2007.

The best fund for Mom
Cambiar Opportunity is a no-brainer for several reasons. First, it's a proven outperformer that works in both bull and bear markets. If it weren't, manager Brian Barish wouldn't have been able to beat the S&P 500 for eight years running.

Second, with a 1.2% expense ratio, Opportunity is priced low enough to still beat the bogey after extracting its commission. And there are no loads or wealth-destroying 12b-1 marketing fees, just good, cheap performance.

Third, Barish, like most top investors, buys bargains by the boatload. We know this because both Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM  ) and Wyeth (NYSE: WYE  ) , which were two of the fund's top five holdings in January, have given way to much-maligned Halliburton, which trades for just 11 times its projected 2008 earnings.

Fourth and finally, Barish is investing alongside his clients with nearly $2 million of his personal wealth at risk to his stock picking. Think he's motivated to outperform? I do.

Pay for performance
And that's really what matters. If you're not going to invest for yourself, you have two choices: get cheap market-matching returns via an index fund, or pay someone to pick stocks for you.

Index funds are a wonderful choice for most people. I'm not one of them; I'd rather not settle. I'd rather my Mom not settle, either. But if you're going to pay, make sure that, like Brian Barish and his Cambiar compadres, the team you hire is out to do more than take your money. My Mom deserves no less, and neither does yours. (I've met her, and she's a saint.)

Think you can't beat the market with funds? Think again! The selections in Shannon Zimmerman's Motley Fool Champion Funds portfolio are up an average of 37% vs. just 24% for their comparable benchmarks. Ask us for an all-access pass to get an unfettered look at all of Shannon's picks, manager interviews, and model portfolios. There's no obligation to subscribe.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers, who is ranked 6,430 out of more than 28,400 in our Motley Fool CAPS investor-intelligence database, is a Fool for stocks and funds. His portfolio holdings can be found at Tim's Fool profile. His thoughts on funds, Foolishness, and investing in general may be found in his blog. Intel and Western Union are Inside Value selections. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy would like to lighten its load. Know of any good diets?


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