Let's face it -- when it comes to thinking about the financial world and our personal finances, we all need a few chuckles now and then. You may experience a few if you keep reading, because I'm about to introduce you to some odd mutual funds. You may want to learn more about some of them, and perhaps even invest in them -- or maybe you'll just guffaw.
• The Critical Math
• The Hancock Horizon Burkenroad D (HYBUX) fund actually isn't so funny -- it's just unusual, as its managers tap the research of hundreds of students at the Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. Focusing on small companies, it has gained an annual average of more than 15% over the past three and five years. Its top holdings include National Beverage
• The Roosevelt Anti-Terror Multi-Cap (BULLX) fund has a rather weird name, but an impressive track record, rising more than 16%, on average, over the past five years, and almost 18% over the past three. The fund practices "Terror-Free Investing" -- "a new values-based investment strategy whereby an investor chooses to divest from -- or screen out of portfolio -- the stock of companies that do business in Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, and/or North Korea." Its top holdings include McDonald's
• The Ameritor Investment (AIVTX) fund is closed right now, which is actually probably merciful. According to Morningstar, it lost 33% in 2000, 55% in 2001, and 40% in 2002 (yes, we're still talking about losses each year), before losing 11% in 2003, 35% in 2004, 68% in 2005, and 86% in 2006. Its top holdings (though its total assets may be less than yours at this point) include General Electric, Intel, and perhaps the appropriate Psychiatric Solutions. Apparently, the fund used to be called the Steadman Fund. And a San Francisco Gate article noted that one of the fund's owners said about the fund's stock picker, "I wouldn't say he's the world's greatest."
Despite the amusement above, mutual funds remain a compelling opportunity for most of us. Just select carefully, since a majority of managed funds don't do as well as simple index funds.
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Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of General Electric and McDonald's, and has enjoyed a milkshake at Sonic. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any one of our investing services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.