If you were just about to mail in that check to buy shares of

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Janus Worldwide, you're too late.

On Tuesday, Janus

closed three more of its stock funds: Worldwide,


Olympus and

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Global Life Sciences. Now seven of the 15 Janus retail stock funds are closed to new investors, including


Janus Twenty and

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Global Technology.

If you're a prospective Janus investor, you might be wondering where you're going to put your money now that you're locked out of almost half the firm's funds.

If you're already a devoted disciple, you might be worrying about how these closings will affect your investments.

These questions will be covered right here.

Can I still get into the closed Janus funds?


The seven Janus retail funds that are closed are still open to existing investors. If you already own shares in any one of these funds, you can continue investing your money in that portfolio, which is certainly what other Janus investors are doing.

The $9.8 billion Janus Global Technology fund has been closed since the middle of January, but it is still one of the best-selling funds this year. Through the end of March, the fund had taken in $2.4 billion in net assets, according to Boston fund consultant

Financial Research

. That intake made it the 10th best-selling fund in the country behind -- you guessed it -- five other Janus funds.

If you don't have money in any of these closed funds, you still have ways to invest with Janus talent.

The fund company manages many other portfolios that aren't sold directly to investors.

First, you should take a look at the five


funds run by Janus:

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IDEX JCC Balanced,


JCC Capital Appreciation,

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JCC Flexible Income,


JCC Global and


JCC Growth.

Alas, these funds are sold through brokers and carry sales charges. But, if you are desperate for a way in, they give you just that.

The $1.7 billion JCC Global fund, for example, is a smaller version of Janus Worldwide, with Helen Young Hayes and Laurence Chang managing both funds, and it's not closed to new investors. The fund's returns are nearly identical. Both sport five-year annualized returns of more than 29%, according to


. (The A shares of the IDEX fund, however, do carry a 5.5% upfront sales charge.)

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Janus also has its


funds, which the firm hopes to start selling through brokers in August. These funds were originally created September 1993 to be sold through insurance companies and defined contribution plans.

Janus is

planning to create a class of

Janus Adviser Series

shares for 11 of these funds, which investors will be able to buy through brokers and financial advisers. Many of these funds are essentially duplicates of the better-known retail portfolios run by the same managers, and none of the Aspen funds is closed to new investors.


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Aspen Capital Appreciation fund is run by Scott Schoelzel and it looks a lot like his other fund -- Janus Twenty -- which happens to be closed.

Janus also manages three funds for

American Skandia

called the ASAF Janus funds. However, two of these three are closed. The fund also manages two annuities for

Western Reserve Life


Needless to say, you aren't completely locked out of Janus. The firm is launching the


fund in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, some of these shuttered funds could reopen, which happened with Janus Twenty in 1995.

Should I be worried that these newly closed funds will now change character?

Probably not.

These funds closed because they were taking in too much money and the managers wanted to maintain some semblance of flexibility. As a fund get bigger and bigger, a manager is often forced to trade less and buy much larger stocks.

If these funds are going to change in character, that metamorphosis has probably already started.

"I think their character would change more if they weren't closing," says Morningstar's Russ Kinnel. "Closing slows that change down. For the most part, this enables them to change less."

In fact, the $8 billion Olympus fund closed, while some of the other large-cap Janus funds are still available and much larger. The

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Mercury fund, for example, is still open to new investors and has more than $17 billion in assets.

Well, how have the Janus funds that are closed performed since they stopped taking new money?

Some have done well. Some haven't.

Typically, funds become

average performers once they close, not because they're closed but because they had already gotten way too big before they cut off the flow of new money.

Of the four existing funds that were closed before Tuesday (

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Overseas, Twenty and Global Technology), three of them are beating their peer-group average since closing, according to



Janus Overseas, for example, has delivered a cumulative return of 83.5% from when it closed in April 1998 through May 8, while the average international fund is up 25.4%.

Other haven't done as well. Janus Twenty closed about a year ago and is up 26.2% since that time, just behind its peer average of 26.8%.

Since closed funds in general don't knock the cover off the ball after they close, maybe investors don't need to rush into one of Janus closed funds after all.

Dear Dagen aims to provide general fund information. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell funds or other securities.