4. NUVEEN TRADEWINDS VALUE OPPORTUNITIES (NVOAX)
Return: 18%Assets: $2.3 billion Manager: David Iben, since 1995 Top stocks: Cash, 15%, Newmont Mining (NEM), 4.2%, and Barrick Gold (ABX - Get Report), 4.1% Big winner: Arch Coal (ACI) is the second-largest coal producer in the U.S. It makes up 1.9% of fund and has gained 37% this year. Strategy: The fund is the most consistent performer of the group, boasting a five-year annualized return of 12%, almost double that of the next best performer. Nuveen Tradewinds Value Opportunities holds 50 stocks, and the top 10 account for a third of the portfolio. Turnover is about average at 48%. The fund seeks long-term capital appreciation with a value orientation. Its current success comes from riding the mining wave. Its top four stocks, all with returns in the 23% to 29% range, are gold miners, except for the fifth-largest stock, Cameco (CCO) , which mines uranium. After that, the picks are diverse. There are few losers in the portfolio, and most of those are single-digit losses. Those stocks include an international mix of companies with varying market values.