Todd Rosenbluth, a mutual fund analyst at Standard & Poor's, cites the managers of the $2.2 billion Janus Triton Fund (JANIX) as being able to weather any storm. It's down 7% this year, almost half that of its small-cap category. Over the past five years, the fund has an average annual return of 9%, tough to do with volatile small-company shares.
Brian Schaub and Chad Meade have been on board as co-managers since 2006. "They invest in higher-quality small-caps, they can be defensive on the downside and they get good returns from buying companies that have been unfairly punished," said S&P's Rosenbluth.
Morningstar analyst Kathyrn Young writes that the fund's record is healthy. Its 11.2% annual gain since Mead and Schaub took over in July 2006 is more than three times the category's average increase.
"What's more, the fund has tended to lose less than most peers in downdrafts," she says. "So, while it won't be perfect, as demonstrated by its 40% loss in 2008, it should fare better than most through any sniffles or flus the market may catch."