NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Fairholme (FAIRX) ranks as one of the fastest-growing mutual funds of all time. Assets in the portfolio increased from $49 million in 2002 to $18.8 billion in 2010. What drew investors were eye-popping returns. Beginning in 2004, the fund finished in the top quarter of its category for seven consecutive years. But the streak has ended abruptly. This year, the fund has lost 25.3%, trailing 99% of its peers, according to Morningstar.Some shareholders fear that the fund has simply gotten too big. All too often, big funds become unwieldy to manage, and their returns suffer. Academic researchers have long known that small funds tend to outdo large ones.
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