Father's Day Investments

It's that time of year again, when Dad is showered with gifts of ties and aftershave to thank him for his years of parental service. But if you're still shopping for a Father's Day gift for the man in your life, think about giving a gift that will yield more benefits than another tie ever could: the gift of a mutual fund.

In the spirit of Father's Day, here are two first-rate mutual funds that are run by a father-and-son team. Not everyone can run an investment portfolio with his or her dad, but you can still benefit from the expertise of two families who do just that.

Father knows best
Father-and-son investing team Donald and Stephen Yacktman head up the Yacktman Fund (YACKX), which has accumulated one of the best track records in its peer group. The fund now ranks in the top 1% of all large-cap value funds over the most recent three-, five-, 10-, and 15-year trailing time periods. Over the past decade and a half, Yacktman has posted an annualized return of 9.8%, compared with a 6.3% gain for the S&P 500 Index. Don Yacktman has been with the fund since its 1992 inception, while son Stephen joined the team in late 2002. Together, this duo has been making money hand over fist for their shareholders.

The Yacktman team looks for fundamentally sound, high-quality companies that they can hold for the long run. As evidenced by the fund's low 10% turnover, the fund holds many of these companies for several years. Right now, management prefers market-leading names like Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , and Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) , which have high returns on equity, manageable debt loads, and solid earnings. The team believes that Microsoft has solid growth ahead of it and that its shares are extremely inexpensive at about 10 times earnings. Likewise, they think Cisco has a strong balance sheet and excellent management and that it, too, is relatively cheap, at 12 times earnings, adjusted for net excess cash. With respect to Coca-Cola, the team believes that the company is well positioned for long-term global growth and that, with a stock price at 13 times earnings, is reasonably valued.

The Yacktman fund is fairly concentrated, currently holding around 40 names. So although you'll want a more diversified large-cap fund to complement it, Yacktman would make a fine core portfolio holding. The fund hasn't always dazzled in bull markets, but long-term results have been excellent. Similarly, the fund probably won't always look as favorable in the rankings as it does right now, but over the long run, it should continue to do quite well for investors.

All in the family
Another father-and-son team that's been racking up returns and leaving the competition in the dust is Robert and Jeffrey Bruce of the Bruce Fund (BRUFX). The pair is notoriously press-shy and tends to keep shareholder communications to a bare minimum. And although the fund sports just under $300 million in assets, its fine long-term track record may soon spur a new wave of interest. The Bruce Fund invests in a mix of small- and micro-cap stocks, convertible bonds, Treasuries, and cash. The team likes special-situation and distressed stocks that they believe they can profit from, such as Amerco (Nasdaq: UHAL  ) , the troubled parent company of U-Haul. They bought the company in 2003, right before it filed for bankruptcy. Despite its troubles, Bruce believed the company was well-run and had an undervalued real estate portfolio. The stock has since rebounded from $20 at the time of purchase to more than $90.

And while roughly 70% of the fund's holdings land squarely in the micro-cap and small-cap category, right now the portfolio does include a few larger names such as Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) and Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT  ) , which offer juicy dividend yields around 3.5% to 4%. At last glance, the fund's stock exposure measures in at 43% of assets, cash accounts for another 9%, and Treasury bonds and convertibles make up the remaining 48%.

The Bruce Fund defies easy classification because it owns such a wide range of investments and can move wherever the team sees opportunities, but Morningstar pegs it as a moderate allocation fund. Amongst this peer group, the fund ranks in the top 1% of all such funds over the most recent one-, three-, 10-, and 15-year periods. Given that the fund invests so heavily in micro-cap stocks, the portfolio is not without risk, and returns could just as easily take a big dive if some of its bets don't pan out. If you're willing to put up with some potential volatility in the short run, the Bruce Fund could be a good go-anywhere fund to supplement your regular asset allocation.

So even if you don't have a thousand dollars or so to buy your Dad one of these father-and-son mutual funds this Father's Day, you might want to take a closer look at these investments to see whether they might find a home in your own portfolio.

For more winning mutual fund recommendations and time-tested personal financial planning advice, check out the Fool's Rule Your Retirement service. You can start your free 30-day trial today.

Amanda Kish is the Fool's resident fund advisor for the Rule Your Retirement investment newsletter. Amanda owns shares of Yacktman. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Abbott Labs. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola, Cisco, Pfizer, Microsoft, and Abbott Labs, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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