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The Year's Best Funds?

By Selena Maranjian - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 8:03PM

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Cash reserves have propped up a handful of promising funds.

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.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of McDonald's. Kraft Foods and H.J. Heinz are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Diebold is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Take-Two Interactive is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Try our investing newsletters free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.

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Stocks Mentioned

McDonald's Corporation Stock Quote
McDonald's Corporation
$261.36 (0.50%) $1.30
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Kraft Foods Group, Inc.
International Business Machines Corporation Stock Quote
International Business Machines Corporation
$131.50 (1.57%) $2.03
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Stock Quote
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
$123.79 (2.51%) $3.03
Kraft Heinz Intermediate Corporation II Stock Quote
Kraft Heinz Intermediate Corporation II
Diebold Nixdorf, Incorporated Stock Quote
Diebold Nixdorf, Incorporated
$4.59 (9.81%) $0.41

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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