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Here's something no financial print publication in the world would ever contemplate doing. Over the course of the next few days, I'm going to give the Fidelity managers of the Fidelity Select Portfolios a report card based on their semiannual report I just got in the mail. I'm well aware that Morningstar rates funds, but they aren't rated by a manager who has been picking stocks professionally for the last 18 years and they aren't evaluated by someone who has had to pick stocks in the same sectors that these folks do.

The newspapers and magazines won't do it, either. Fidelity represents a massive amount of the advertising world out there. They'd rather not take the chance. I don't know if TSC has a relationship with Fidelity, nor do I care. I know the folks at Fidelity and if you treat them honestly and call them as you see them, they're not going to blacklist me or take me off their mailing list. I'm as good and as loyal a Fidelity shareholder as you're going to find.

A word on my methodology. I'm using the public record that Fidelity sent, replete with all the information that it thinks is necessary to make a judgment. If the holdings that I'm basing these judgments on aren't up to date, that's not my fault. I'm using the manager's own words, direct from the report.

So, without further ado, I'm taking them in the order in which they appear in the booklet. My criticism is meant constructively. Fidelity's managers are pros. They aren't bums. No reason to excoriate here, I just want to help you make as informed a decision as possible. All figures are with load.

Consumer Industries Portfolio (FSCPX): John Porter, since 1999. Past year: +4.77%

Porter's performance is disappointing given the fact that many of the stocks he could have picked have performed fairly well this year. He didn't have enough beverage stocks. And he had way too much retail, particularly of the

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Home Depot, Inc. Report

variety. Given the standout performance of some of the blandest big-cap names during this period, names like


(PEP) - Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report


Quaker Oats


, which are minimal or nonexistent here, I don't see the need to buy more shares of this fund.

From the looks of things, Porter didn't get nailed on a lot of dot-com consumer plays, though, which is impressive. Of course, we don't know whether he bought and sold some of them for big losses. Nothing in the portfolio presented here would indicate that he should have had such a poor year, so I wonder what happened. I also question his overreliance on media and entertainment stocks given the overall advertising slowdown that is now evident.

TheStreet Recommends

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Inline

Food and Agriculture Portfolio (FDFAX): Matthew Fruhan, since 1996. Past year: +.86%

Those numbers don't tell the story. This fund has been on fire for the last six months, returning 20% because of the consolidation in the food business. Fruhan owns some terrific companies, and this fund is a safe way to play further consolidation. That said, Fruhan is bearish on the sector, which makes me not want to participate with him. I wish he hadn't admitted his bias, but that's what we want out of a manager. Frankly, the bottom line here, though, is that this is a small sector and I don't know if you should speculate in it. It was started during 1985, when this group was going great guns. It sure is a narrow way to play the business, and the business itself includes companies you can analyze fairly well on your own. I'd rather own the one or two top food companies than this sector fund.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Below for last year but extremely strong for last six months

Leisure Portfolio (FDLSX): Michael Tarlowe, since January 2000. Past year: +3.67%

This portfolio looks a lot like the Consumer Industries portfolio. I would merge these two funds if I were Fidelity. I'm not quite sure why we need both of them. This fund got hurt on cable and some Net stocks, but overall it has held up well. I don't quite understand how Leisure could include


(AVP) - Get Avon Products, Inc. Report



(G) - Get Genpact Limited Report



(CEN) - Get Center Coast Brookfield MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund Report

, but maybe I view my leisure time differently. I like these stocks in a slowing economy, but this fund may be too leveraged to ad spending and vacation spending. I see no reason to commit to it.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Good

Multimedia Portfolio (FBMPX): Michael Tarlowe, since 2000. Past year: +14.34%

This is another fund with an overweight in cable and radio. If you like that industry, this fund is for you. It has the same weightings and look as the Leisure Fund, though, and the same manager. I'd rather be in the more diversified leisure fund given the slowdown I see in advertising for all media properties. This guy really likes Ceridian -- its in this fund, too!

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Excellent

Retailing Portfolio (FSRPX): Steve Calhoun, since 1999. Past year: +2.27***

Wow, this has been one rough sector to be in and Calhoun's certainly owned the class of the field. His love of





has really helped. I'm thinking that if you think the

Fed is about to ease aggressively, this fund might be for you. Otherwise, what would be so wrong with just owning your favorite retailer, which you can then do the homework on? Beats me. Lotta Home Depot here, too by the way. And if you're worried about


(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

, as I am, stay away. Don't forget I think we're an "overstored" nation, so I don't want to be in this kind of fund.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Subpar

Air Transportation Portfolio (FSAIX): Jeff Feingold, since 2000. Past year: +30.47

Feingold caught the aerospace cycle perfectly. He identified the suppliers to


(BA) - Get Boeing Company Report

and Boeing as great plays just in time. This is everything you want from a sector fund and I think Feingold has delivered precisely as these funds can, when they get it right. His current cautiousness given the run in the group also seems timely. Stock picking, timing, avoidance of the stinkers in the group -- I like this fund.

Evaluation against broad index: Terrific

Evaluation against sector index (cyclical): Terrific

Automotive Portfolio (FSAVX): Douglas Nigen , since 1999. Past year: -11.14%***

If you had to own this sector, and I see no reason whatsoever to own it, Nigen did his best for you. He took his $11 million -- really a very small amount of money in the Fidelity world -- and spread it out among the few suppliers that have a strong story, especially



, which did well because it owned



, a storage play. He also invested in Japan in a way that did no damage to the fund, something pretty monumental when you think about how bad that market is.

He is skeptical about his group, as one should be given the slowdown we are entering, but once estimates are brought down sufficiently, he'll make you money again.

Evaluation against broad index: Anemic

Evaluation against sector index (cyclical): Subpar

Chemicals Portfolio (FSCHX): Jonathan Zang, since 1999. Past year: -4.73%

Here's one tough group and Zang has made the most of it, identifying the chemical gas subsection as the strongest of a horrible lot. Chemical companies' stocks accurately predicted the rise in raw costs (petroleum) and severely underperformed. Zang dodged the worst ones. Interesting sector thought here: Zang's group is a way to play a decline in oil. If you think that's going to occur, this fund could do well over the course of the next year. Otherwise, why bother.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index (cyclical): Subpar

Construction and Housing Portfolio (FSHOX): Brian Hogan, since 1999. Past year: +5.70***

Could have been worse. Hogan could have landed you in the asbestos soup with






, two obvious candidates for his $8 million fund. Instead he steered clear and bought the best of the lot, including


(LEN) - Get Lennar Corporation Class A Report

, the best-run housing company in the country. But he got bit by the Home Depot bug -- did everyone at Fidelity? Man, that stock is like the flu!

Hogan's a manager worth watching despite the poor performance of the fund. To sidestep the bad ones and predict a rise in rates and not get crushed is saying something, and he should feel he did his best.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index (cyclical): Subpar

Cyclical Industries Portfolio (FCYIX): Brian Hogan, since February 2000. Past year: +5.30%

Here's Brian again, doing a good job in a tough group, and working with only $5 million. Once again, I question Fidelity's logic in keeping this fund and not merging it with the others of similar ilk. If they're going to compare all of these cyclical funds to the cyclical index, why not just set up a best of cyclical fund? Shelf space would be reduced in the papers, but the managers would have more money and more stocks to work with. Hogan picked well, going after the big conglomerates like


(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report




, but he sold


(HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. Report

after riding it down -- missed the bid -- and got burned by

Union Carbide


. This fund reads like the

Dow Industrials

minus the new additions.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Excellent

Defense and Aerospace Portfolio (FSDAX): Jeff Feingold, since 1998. Past year: +13.85***

Here's a fund for the fans of

George W. Bush

and for those who want to catch the aerospace cycle. Feingold nailed them both. He also caught the big takeover in the group,


, which got taken over by


(AA) - Get Alcoa Corporation Report

. This fund looks like air transport with some arms merchants thrown into the mix.

Evaluation against broad index: OK

Evaluation against sector index: Outstanding

Environmental Services Portfolio (FSLEX): Ian Gutterman, since 1999. Past year: +.43%

I remember when FIDO set this fund up, right after the peak in this group. People thought


would be a big deal and they thought

Waste Management


would be, too. I didn't quite understand why they did it then and I don't know why they're doing it now. This is a small idea, one built around trash pick-up, and I would avoid it.

Evaluation against broad index: Poor

Evaluation against sector index: OK

Industrial Equipment Portfolio (FSCGX): Praveen Abichandani, since 2000. Past year: +6.59%

Not just earth movers here. Abichandani has also delved into semi-cap equipment. Those have been subpar performers of late and it has hurt the fund's performance. Again, I think that if you want to have a cyclical play, there are better funds. I was hoping Abichandani might have caught the fuel cell powerwave, but it doesn't look like it. Still, great work in a very tough environment.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index (cyclical): Excellent

Industrial Materials Portfolio (FSDPX): Neil Marotta, since April 1, 2000. Past year: -13%

Here's a fund that has borne the brunt of the declining euro and the higher petroleum costs. Yet it has weathered these pretty well, considering it's right in the crosshairs of every bad trend. If you think that the current trends in the market are about to slam into reverse, this fund is for you. Otherwise, stay away. I feel bad for this guy, he took over the fund in April.

Evaluation against broad index: Poor

Evaluation against sector index: Poor

Paper and Forest Products Portfolio (FSPFX): Adam Segel, since March 2000. Past year: -4.1%

Could have been worse! Commodity prices went the wrong way and raw costs were way up but Segel, or perhaps his predecessor, who knows, had Champion and

Fort James


, two that got bids. If you think a sector is going to consolidate, I guess that's a good use for this fund. I once advised my dad, who is in this industry, to short this fund as a hedge against his business. It didn't go over well. Be careful, the fund had only $11 million in it. That could be hazardous if it gets redemptions.

Evaluation against broad index: Poor

Evaluation against sector index: Par

Transportation Portfolio (FSRX): Jeff Feingold and Ian Gutterman, since September 2000. Past year: +2.2%

At first glance I couldn't believe this fund was up at all. Rails and trucks and air transport have been horrible businesses in the last year. But this fund has picked the best ones, plus it benefited from

Kansas City Southern's

(KSU) - Get Kansas City Southern Report

ownership of the Janus Fund. Again, if you think oil is coming down, this is a possible fund buy. But I fail to see the need for this $13 million fund and would rather see it gathered with other transport-like entities. (A common pattern with these funds is that if they beat the sector it's because of an anomaly, like SPX's ownership of Inrange for automotive and KSU's ownership of Janus, for transports. Kind of out of the mantra, but whatever works, I guess, works.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Above par

Banking Portfolio (FSRBX): Samuel Peters, since February 2000. Past year: +1.21%

Peters missed his benchmark by a mile because he chose to overweight banks over brokers and brokers had a rip-roaring year. These kinds of overweight/underweight decisions within in a broad sector like banking are crucial, and Peters made the wrong one. For the past. Now I'm not so sure. If he sticks with this banking group now, I think he'll outperform the brokers. Of course, we don't know what he's going to do and this snippet doesn't give us much insight. That said, I like this fund for a Fed ease call and think it makes sense here.

Evaluation against broad index: Subpar

Evaluation against sector index: Awful (but not fair because his benchmark includes brokers)

Brokerage and Investment Management Portfolio (FSLBX): Ted Orenstein, since 1999. Past year: +60%

Looks like Peters got stuck with the losers and Orenstein with the winners. This is one of those sector fund hazards where you might have put money in banking thinking you would participate with the brokers, but the brokers were all in this fund! Kind of hard to game, isn't it? This fund performed fantastically as it hit all of the takeovers in the group. Great job, but all things considered I'd now rather be in Orenstein's group because there's too much froth in this one.

Evaluation against broad index: Excellent

Evaluation against sector index: Subpar

Financial Service Portfolio (FIDSX): James Catudal, since February 2000. Past year: +15.18%

Catudal mixed it up. He would have been a hero had he just bought the brokerages, but he diversified and gave you a mix of Orenstein and Peters. As I like the banks more than the brokers here, I'd go with the banking portfolio at this stage. They do better in front of the ease. This fund has a very good set of stocks for a stable to positive interest rate environment.

Evaluation against broad index: Above par

Evaluation against sector index: Par

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James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of At time of publication, his fund had no positions in any stocks mentioned. 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 send comments on his column to

James J. Cramer.