There's been a changing of the guard on three
Waddell & Reed
municipal-bond mutual funds.
John Holliday retired July 1 after 21 years with the firm, according to a company announcement Tuesday. In the wake of his departure, Bryan Bailey will take over the
Waddell & Reed Advisors Municipal Bond fund and the
W&R Municipal Bond
fund and Mark Otterstrom will take the reins of the
Waddell & Reed Advisors Municipal High Income fund.
Bailey and Otterstrom joined the firm in 1993 and 1987, respectively, primarily working as fixed-income analysts. The funds boast strong long-term performance records, but recently results have lagged behind their peers, according to
Van Kampen Has High-Octane Launch
Looks like it'll take a lot more volatility to scare off growth investors.
Van Kampen Select Growth
, a focused and high-octane growth fund, launched Monday, according to a company statement. The broker-sold fund raised a whopping $900 million in a subscription offering from May 24 through June 23.
During a subscription offering, investors can reserve launch-day shares for a set price. At the end of the offer, the fund company starts building the fund's portfolio. The average domestic stock fund has $419 million, meaning this new Van Kampen fund has more than twice that before it gets out of the gate.
The fund has the leeway to invest in U.S. or foreign companies of any size and will hold a short list of stocks. Its prospectus allows co-lead managers Gary Lewis and Janet Luby to invest up to 25% of assets in a single stock.
Having Lewis at the helm probably sparked a lot of interest. Since taking the helm of
Van Kampen Emerging Growth in 1989 the fund has beaten its average mid-cap growth peer over the past one-, three-, five-, and 10-year periods, according to Morningstar. Its 27.9% annualized return over 10 years beats the S&P 500 by more than 10 percentage points and tops 99% of its peers.
Lewis and his team also run
Van Kampen Aggressive Growth and
Van Kampen Technology, two younger funds with equally strong returns.
The fund might be promising, but it isn't necessarily cheap. Class A shares carry a maximum 5.75% front-end load or sales charge. Class B and Class C shares levy a maximum 5% and 1% back-end load, respectively.
The fund's annual expenses are expected to be 1.22% on Class A shares and 1.97% on Class B and Class C shares. The average domestic stock fund's expense ratio is 1.38%.
ND Holdings Launches Small-Cap Fund
Make way for a small-cap fund that looks to be big on diversification.
Mutual fund service shop
announced the launch of
Integrity Small Cap Fund of Funds
Tuesday. The no-load fund will invest in 15 to 50 small-cap growth funds. The new fund's filing is light on details, saying it will focus on funds that have solid returns, experienced management and lower-than-average expenses while investing in companies below $2 billion in market capitalization.
Harvey Merson will pick the funds for the portfolio. He has been a broker and financial adviser for years, according to the filing. Robert Walstad, ND Holdings' founder, will supervise him.
Before you break out your checkbook, you might want to take a wait-and-see approach. The Minot, N.D., shop has another fund of funds that hasn't worked out all that well. The
Integrity Fund of Funds follows an all-cap approach, but most of its assets are invested in large-cap funds. Over five years its 13.6% annualized return trails the
by 10 percentage points and is behind 96% of its large-cap blend peers, according to Morningstar.
At least the new fund isn't that expensive -- this year, anyway. The fund's annual expenses are capped at 1.60% through April, but if the fund company stops subsidizing some costs they could balloon over 2%. The average small-cap growth funds' expenses are 1.67%, according to Morningstar.
While the fund doesn't carry a load or sales charge it does have an annual 0.75% 12b-1 marketing fee which pays financial advisers for selling the fund.
Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves.