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10 Best Mutual Funds of 2011 You've Never Heard Of

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Sequoia Fund (SEQUX)

Performance: up 10.7%, putting it in the top 1% of large-blend funds; three-year annualized return of 16.6%; 15-year average annual return of 9%.

Fund Profile: Co-managers Robert Goldfarb and David Poppe run a 34-stock portfolio and "stick to companies with strong balance sheets and franchises," Morningstar said.

The managers avoided the disasters in the financial sector, as the fund now has only 3% of assets in those stocks, which, in and of itself, has helped returns versus its peers.

Assets: $4.7 billion

Top picks: Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), the fund's largest holding at 10%, up 62%; TJX Cos. (TJX - Get Report), up 42%; Fastenal (FAST), up 37%. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B - Get Report), down 5.7%.

Federated Strategic Value Dividend Fund (SVAAX)

Performance: up 10.6%; three-year average annual return of 12%.

Fund Profile: This large value fund pursues income and long-term capital appreciation by investing in high-yielding stocks of undervalued companies positioned to increase their dividends over time.

Assets: $4.9 billion

Top picks: Verizon (VZ), the largest holding at 3.9% of the fund, up 12.4%; Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Get Report), 3.7% of the fund, up 32%; Vodafone (VOD), up 15%.

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