Skip to main content

Janus

is closing its

(JAGTX) - Get Janus Henderson Global Tech T Report

Global Technology fund to new investors as of the close of business Tuesday, a Janus spokeswoman confirmed today. The $240 billion Denver growth fund shop is planning to make a formal announcement after the market's close today.

Although the fund is closing to new investors, current shareholders will be able to continue making contributions. Clients of investment advisers who are already in the fund as well as 401(k) plan participants will also be allowed to continue investing in it.

The fund opened at the end of 1998, and even in a boffo year where nearly

170 funds rode white-hot tech stocks to triple-digit gains, the young fund was a standout.

Portfolio manager Mike Lu posted a 212% return last year, climbing 74% in the fourth quarter alone. In a year when the average technology fund was up 135.5%, the fund beat 92% of its peers, according to Chicago fund-tracker

Morningstar

.

TheStreet Recommends

Investors followed the performance. The year-old fund is already one of the tech category's largest with $7.98 billion in assets and was the 13th bestselling fund through Nov. 30, according to the most recent data from Boston fund-researcher

Financial Research Corp

. In November the fund took in more than $900 million.

It appears these inflows are a big reason why the fund's closing. The fund's billions could limit Lu's ability to put the cash to work. Morningstar data indicate that on Sept. 30, nearly 12% of the portfolio was in cash and nearly 43% was invested in small- and mid-cap stocks. A mountain of money could make it hard for Lu to move nimbly among small- and mid-caps.

He might not be the only tech-fund manager with this first-world problem. By the start of December, investors stuffed $24.2 billion into technology funds for the year. The previous record was $4.4 billion, set in 1995.

Lu, a rookie manager with seven years' experience as a Janus tech analyst, hasn't made outlandish bets on Net stocks or any other single hot area. On Nov. 30, the fund's assets were evenly distributed among the industry's subsectors, including wireless communications, software, hardware and semiconductors. No subsector made up more than 9% of the fund's assets at the time.

Ironically, the announcement could lead many investors to break out their checkbooks and exacerbate Lu's cash troubles in the short term. Opening and closing announcements can lead to floods of money. For example, in July 1995,

AIM Funds

announced it would reopen

(AAGFX)

AIM Aggressive Growth. The fund closed two days later after taking in $1 billion in cash.