When you hit choppy water, you don't want a rookie skipper. With that in mind, let's shop for large-cap growth funds with old salts at the helm.
The Daily Screen: Mid-Cap Growth Funds With Steady Leadership
The Daily Screen: Small-Cap Growth Funds With Long-Tenured Managers
A Good Tech Fund Is Hard to Find
sifts a fund category for the funds that beat their average peer over the last one- and three-year periods. But with so few managers staying put these days, we're taking this week to filter a few popular fund categories, with manager tenure among the criteria. Today, we're fishing in the large-cap growth fund pool.
After leading the markets in recent years, these funds -- which put more than 40% of their money in tech stocks on average -- got smacked by this year's sharp selloff in many favorite tech bellwethers like
. Since Jan. 1, they're down about 8%, which isn't that bad on the heels of two straight years with more than 30% annual gains.
We also screened these 10 leading funds' portfolios for their 10 favorite stocks, but first let's look at the funds.
If you work with a broker, you should take a long, hard look at broker-sold chart-topper
Smith Barney Aggressive Growth, where manager Richard Freeman has built a solid record in running the fund since its 1983 inception. Following a measured, low-turnover approach Freeman beats 98% of his peers over the last one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods, according to
The fund's 23.2%, 10-year annualized return beats the
by more than 5 percentage points and the fund, which is carrying a decent bet on health care stocks, has experienced less volatility than its average peer over the last three years.
Two other less aggressive choices are the no-load
Jensen fund and the no-load
Bramwell Growth fund, both named for their respective managers, Val Jensen and Elizabeth Bramwell.
At the other end of the spectrum is the no-load
White Oak Growth Stock fund, where James Oelschlager and Donna Barton have ridden a fat and concentrated tech bet to solid returns. At the end of the third quarter, more than half the fund's assets were sunk into tech stocks and the fund held just 23 stocks, compared with 87 for its average peer. Spreading a fund's assets among more stocks tends to reduce short-term volatility.
Despite its risky style, it's hard to argue with its results. The fund beats at least 95% of its peers over the last one-, three- and five-year periods.
An intriguing fund that missed our list just because its year-to-date return fell short is the no-load
Vanguard Tax-Managed Capital Appreciation fund. Though index-fund guru Gus Sauter has run the fund since its 1994 inception, it's not a standard index-tracking portfolio. Sauter typically focuses on stocks within the
Russell 1000 Index
that pay low dividends to minimize investment tax bills. The fund's tame, tax-efficient approach -- it hasn't paid a capital gains distribution yet -- could make it a good core stock holding for conservative investors.
If you're wondering what stocks propelled our top 10 funds' returns, look no further. As you might imagine, it's a tech-heavy list led by chip titan
and networking heavyweight
. But health care, this year's leading sector, is represented as well with the likes of pharmaceutical giants