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Give us your money, and every once in a while we'll let you know what we did with it.

If you've ever invested in mutual funds, you know that's usually how it works. Sure, you might see your funds' top-10 holdings monthly or quarterly. But what about the rest?

How can you build a diversified portfolio when you rarely know exactly where fund managers are investing your money?

Fortunately, a few upstart fund shops are challenging the industry's inertia. These scrappy firms -- mostly tech specialists with modest assets -- are disclosing their stock funds' full holdings much more frequently online, some even daily. These postings often include trade-by-trade manager commentaries, the price the fund paid for a stock and whether or not the fund has made money on it.

They haven't yet won many investors' hearts -- or dollars. But if they do, their aggressive approach to disclosure could eventually lead investors to expect more frequent updates from bigger, more secretive firms like



"You just can't legally disclose more than we do," says Don Luskin, lead manager of the $33 million


OpenFund, a young and aptly named poster child for this "open book" movement.

Since the tech-heavy growth fund's

launch last Aug. 31, lead manager Luskin and his colleagues have posted the fund's current holdings daily on its

Web site, including trade-by-trade commentary from the management team. You can even watch Luskin and his pals via the site's "Tradercam".

Two other fund companies also offer a look behind the curtain:

TheStreet Recommends

, an online fund shop that launched in November, discloses its three growth funds' holdings daily on its

Web site. The tiny shop even

invites investors to suggest stocks to the funds' managers and requires the managers to use those picks for the $3 million

Community Intelligence


IPS Funds

, an established, Knoxville, Tenn.-based firm, has posted its $400 million


Millennium and $15 million

New Frontier

funds' holdings on its

Web site for two years. Early last year, the firm added each position's price and performance and a candid trading diary by manager Robert Loest, which has been a hit with the modest number of investors in the fund.

These fund companies don't worry about "front-runners" -- traders who profit by buying or selling shares in advance of the fund -- because these funds are small and only need minutes or hours to make a move, compared to the days and weeks it might take a behemoth to make a significant buy or sell.

"It's certainly easier for someone like us to do it than someone like Fidelity," says Loest. "But they ought to be able to make some strides and I don't see that happening."

None of the funds seems to be suffering from their frankness. Even after the March selloff, OpenFund, for instance, was up 74% in the eight months since its inception through Monday's close.

In fact, the managers of these funds say the intense scrutiny from investors works in their favor. An ongoing dialogue with investors can turn up new ideas and keep a manager focused.

"Investing is solitary and can become a video game if you're not careful. With full disclosure, you hear from people and you truly realize other people's money is at stake," says Luskin, who says he's gotten at least one investment idea from online chats with shareholders.

The scrutiny also seems to inspire a welcome bluntness on the part of managers.

After selling some losers to offset gains early this month IPS' Loest chided himself on April 6, "Big mistake! They were all up huge Friday. In the past, I always had time to buy them back after 31 days without a huge run-up, but not this time."

Investors seem to appreciate the candor.

"I think that your interactive fund is first-class," writes "feldmarl," a poster on OpenFund's message boards, which are open to anyone. "Not only do you give your explanations on each of your trades, but everything is updated in real time. This is definitely the model that other firms should begin to implement. Also the speed and screen cam are great added features to the site."

Audience participation and blunt commentary aside, there are practical benefits to these funds' precise and frequent disclosure: Investors get more control over their portfolios.

"Investing is all about asset allocation and the more accurate information you have, the better job you can do," says Joel Davis, a senior financial planner with

American Express Financial Advisers

in Portland, Maine.

But even though this openness is popular among the relatively small number of participating investors, it's a long way from becoming a must-have fund feature. As any fund industry veteran can tell you, the three most important words in fund sales are performance, performance, performance. Notice disclosure isn't in there anywhere.

"It's not in the top-10 reasons why people buy funds," says Jonas Max Ferris, co-founder of

, a fund-tracking Web site.

The average U.S. stock fund has about $900 million according to Morningstar. That's more than the OpenFund, StockJungle's funds and IPS' funds combined.

But the movement toward more frequent disclosure is slowly picking up steam. Popular firms known for tech investing, like

Munder Funds


Firsthand Funds

, update holdings on their Web sites monthly (however, the results are a few weeks old when they're posted).

Rydex Funds

posts full holdings for its sector funds and some index funds daily on its Web site.

Earlier this month,

Montgomery Asset Management

announced plans to roll out a line of concentrated funds, called "Stock Solutions," whose holdings will be posted after a two-week lag on the firm's Web site. The firm also plans to regularly post commentary about the funds' recent buys and sells.

These developments haven't gone unnoticed in the halls of the fund giants.

"I would say there's a clear trend toward more frequent disclosure in terms of firms offering it and clients requesting it," says Howard Present, managing director of product management at


, which has $375 billion in fund assets under management. Nevertheless, the firm has no plans to disclose complete fund holdings more than twice a year.

So it's not likely your large-cap growth fund will stop playing so close to the vest in the near future. But there is hope. The fund industry


become much more open over the last 10 years. Keep in mind, it wasn't until the 1990s that the

Securities and Exchange Commission

required fund companies to disclose fund managers' names, notes


research director John Rekanthaler.