Meet the Family: Wasatch Funds
|Assets Under Management: $923 million in retail mutual funds|
|Percentile Rank of Average Fund Over Three Years: Top 22% out of 100% (not counting U.S. Treasury fund, subadvised by Van Robert Hoisington)|
|Family's Top Three Stock Holdings:
O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY),
|Minimum Initial Investment: $2,000|
|Meet the Family Q&A:
It's perfectly understandable why tiny
For one thing, it doesn't advertise. For another, its asset base is minuscule -- its six funds collectively claim a mere $923 million in assets. (One of those funds, (WHOSX) Wasatch-Hoisington U.S. Treasury , is subadvised by a different manager, so it's not discussed in the profile.)
Rather than racing out to publicize the hot-performing Micro Cap, Wasatch closed it to new investors last spring, when its assets were at about $200 million. In a similar bid to avoid asset bloat -- which makes it difficult for small-cap funds to move nimbly in an out of their less-actively traded stocks -- management has said it may soon shut Small Cap Growth as well. That kind of discipline is laudable in an industry where asset gathering is the name of the game.
|The Wasatch Fund Family
|1-Yr. Return||3-Yr. Return||1-Yr. % Rank in Cat.(1=Best, 100=Worst)||Expenses||Manager Start Date|
|(WGROX) Wasatch Core Growth||306||33.3%||14.3%||4||1.44||12-06-86|
|(WMICX) Wasatch Micro Cap (Closed)||221||48.4||25.1||1||2.46||06-19-95|
|(WAAEX) Wasatch Small Cap Growth||234||25.6||18.7||10||1.44||12-06-86|
|(WMCVX) Wasatch Small Cap Value||50||35.8||--||3||1.95||12-17-97|
|(WAMCX) Wasatch Ultra Growth||53||25.6||14.9||10||1.75||08-16-92|
|(WHOSX) Wasatch-Hoisington U.S. Treasury||58||12.4||6.1||6||0.75||07-31-96|
In keeping with its off-Wall Street culture, managers at Wasatch tend to stick around. The fund family, founded in 1975, prides itself on its ability to groom and retain homegrown talent. Gardiner, for example, first worked at Wasatch as a part-time bookkeeper while in high school. Two other managers, Sam Stewart at Core Growth and Jeff Cardon at Small Cap Growth, have headed the funds since their inception in 1986. Wasatch funds tend to have stakes in technology, health care and business services because those areas have been identified as having good growth prospects. But Wasatch managers don't shift in and out of sectors in attempts to time the market. That philosophy contributes to an annual turnover rate of about 73% at the funds, compared with an average of 103%. Lower turnover -- a gauge for how often managers sell out of old holdings and buy into new positions -- often makes for better tax bills for shareholders.
The 10 most-held stocks in the family
|O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY)||-13.4%|
|Lincare Holdings (LNCR)||18.6|
|Men's Wearhouse (MW)||-6.0|
|ICU Med (ICUI)||77.0|
|Orthodontic Centers (OCA)||179.6|
|Express Scripts (ESRX)||14.5|
|Microchip Technology (MCHP)||-7.9|
|Sources: Bigdough.com and Yahoo.marketguide.com|
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