The greatest bargain in mutual fund-dom just came out last week, and I can't believe we still don't have to pay for it.
I am talking about the
Select Portfolios Annual Report, which is this terrific document where Fidelity fund managers talk about what they did right and what they did wrong over the last year. First, Fidelity managers rarely speak. It is difficult for them to do so. Think about it: They say they like something and they sell it -- they get in trouble. They say they like something and the fundamentals change -- they can't sell because they just said they like it. It is a Catch-22 that forces them to speak only in past tense.
But they speak freely in this document. And even though the information is old by the time you get it -- and if you want to know my feelings about this, just see
series, you can still make money from their insights.
I find it particularly interesting right now because we are looking at so many areas that we had given up on years ago. For example, when I am exploring the
aerospace and defense business (because I see the run in
), I find the Defense and Aerospace Portfolio section invaluable.
leap out. A large position in
gives that name away. The fact that the fund stuck with
is a good heads up. And the giant
position gives me a good
name to look into.
Similarly, I am looking at the food and ag businesses closely. The Food and Agriculture Portfolio lists
as possibilities. Same with
. Large positions in
seem of interest.
Likewise, smaller positions in
tell me that maybe these should be avoided.
If the Fido food guy doesn't like 'em, why should I?
Novices to the way fund managers work might want to go right to the back of the book to the Fund Basics, which has a ton of explanations about sector investing. All very worthwhile for beginners. Again, the news may be old. But the value is still there. You have to get this book. It teaches and tells you more than just about any paid source I get.
Most of the mail from Fido gets put in the junk heap at my home. That's because my wife makes swift work of just about every piece of snail mail that arrives. But she knows better with this booklet. It goes right into my workbag as soon as I bring it home. She's heard me scream too often when I don't get it.
Can you afford not to read it?
breaking news again. This time he has
the latest Soros story.
Did you miss
the Fleckenstein-Cramer chat last week? We both had such a good time we want to do it again. I have to admit that I have done many chats, but this one got the most kudos so we thought we would reprise it on Yahoo! tomorrow at 5 p.m. Remember to
register (it's free and easy)!
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Safeway. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at