In ancient Greece, Diogenes wandered the streets in search of an honest man. In the Bible, Jeremiah was sent on a similar quest. In both cases, the quarry proved hard to find. This year, U.S. investors are having similar trouble finding a single domestic stock mutual fund that isn't underwater.
With the overall stock market is down 40% or more as I type this, I'd expect most stock funds to be posting losses for the year. But not all of them! Surely a few of the market's thousands of funds would post gains -- if only by accident.
Last month, U.S. News & World Report mentioned five funds that seemed like they might post a gain for the year. Here's my update on those five:
Apex Mid Cap Growth (BMCGX): This tiny fund -- less than $300,000 in assets -- is down about 8.3% as of this writing. Its roster does include stocks with positive returns for the year, such as Genentech
(NYSE:DNA)and Cryolife, but beware its astronomical 7.2% annual fee.
Reynolds Blue Chip Growth (RBCGX): With an expense ratio of 2%, this fund is down 5% for the year so far, and it recently held nearly two-thirds of its assets in cash. Maybe that has something to do with its resistance to the market meltdown. Top holdings include IBM
(NYSE:IBM)and McDonald's (NYSE:MCD).
- PMFM Managed Portfolio (ETFFX): Down 5.4%, it charges a 5.75% front-end load and was recently more than 50% in cash.
Gabelli ABC (GABCX): Down 4.2% for the year so far, with a reasonable expense ratio of 0.63% and no load, this fund sports a strong long-term record. Its top holdings recently included Take-Two Interactive
(NASDAQ:TTWO)and Diebold (NYSE:DBD), along with more than 25% of its assets in cash.
Forester Value (FVALX): Down just 3.5% so far, it sports a reasonable 1.35% expense ratio, no load, and some loss-limiting options strategies. Its top holdings recently included Kraft
(NYSE:KFT)and Heinz (NYSE:HNZ).
Of course, the best fund this year could easily be next year's big loser. You should always study funds closely before choosing them for your portfolio. For help finding some top-notch candidates, try our Motley Fool Champion Funds newsletter free for 30 days.