Editor's note: This is the last of five stories looking at the past year and at the year ahead in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. The first looked at real estate funds that crashed and burned in 2007, the second looked at a closed-end venture capital fund that turned its performance around, the third at the prospects for actively managed ETFs, and the fourth at bond funds that beat inflation.
Last month, I looked at 12 stock and hybrid funds with a reasonable shot of boasting 10 calendar years of positive returns.
Well, 2007 has run its course -- and all 12 made the cut.
Given the many sudden jolts encountered by the stock market in 2007, along with its inability to make progress during the year's final months, these equity funds are worth a perusal in these early sessions of the new year.
Considering that they all managed to produce positive results during the brutal 2000-2002 bear market years, they certainly stand out from the pack.
Nine members of this elite group list their investment objective as "asset allocation." They are hybrid portfolios that blend equities with fixed-income instruments and other asset classes. This tends to moderate the impact of setbacks in the stock market. Two of the asset allocators focus their investments globally, the remainder in domestic investments.
Of the remaining three defensive specialists, two focus on non-U.S. equities, and the third is a mid-cap value fund.
Rather than rehash the entire list again, I'm going to focus on the three with TheStreet.com Ratings grades in the A and "B" ranges, which equate with buy recommendations, which appear in the accompanying table.
Not a single negative sign is to be found in the tabulation, which includes their respective returns for the calendar years 1998 through 2007.
Of the trio, only the
Permanent Portfolio Fund (PRPFX) is currently open to new investors. This unusual fund is heavily invested in precious metals and Treasury notes and bonds. Its well-diversified portfolio recently consisted of roughly one third in stocks with about 20% in cash and equivalents.
The Permanent Portfolio Fund's largest holdings are gold coins: Canadian maple leafs and U.S. golden eagles.
Gold bullion is also the top holding of
The First Eagle Overseas Fund A (SGOVX). Its second- and third-biggest holdings are
Matthews Asian Growth & Income Fund's (MACSX) top holdings include Hang Seng Bank and Singapore Press Holdings.
The nine remaining 10-year streakers have marks in the C range from TheStreet.com Ratings, which designate recommendations of "hold." While we don't recommend buying them or adding to your holdings at the moment, you mind want to keep an eye on them for the future. They arelisted below (with tickers and investment objectives):
- Gabelli ABC Fund AAA (GABCX), asset allocation: domestic
- Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fd (VASIX), asset allocation: domestic
- J Hancock Trust Lifestyle Con Ser I (JELCX), asset allocation: domestic
- T. Rowe Price Cap Appreciation Fd (PRWCX), asset allocation: domestic
- Principal Inv SAM Flex Inc A (SAUPX), asset allocation: domestic
- JPMorgan Mid Cap Value A (JAMCX), mid-cap
- Russell LifePoints Cons Strat A (RCLAX), asset allocation: global
- Manning & Napier Pro-Blend Con Term (EXDAX), asset allocation: domestic
- Evergreen Asset Allocation A (EAAFX), asset allocation: global
Richard Widows is a financial analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, Widows was senior product manager for quantitative analytics at Thomson Financial. After receiving an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in California, his career included development of investment information systems at data firms, including the Lipper division of Reuters. His international experience includes assignments in the U.K. and East Asia.