The Daily Screen: Mid-Cap Growth Funds With Steady Leadership - TheStreet

Sure, a lot of mid-cap growth funds are sporting solid long-term records, but let's focus on funds where the current manager is responsible for those numbers.

The

Daily Screen

usually sifts a different fund category each day for those funds that beat their average peer over the last one- and three-year periods. But this week, we're adding manager tenure to our criteria. Given this year's turmoil, it's probably a good idea to shop for funds whose managers have seen a rough patch or two. We're zeroing in on mid-cap growth funds, which typically invest in stocks of companies with market caps between $1.5 billion and $9 billion, with a serious bent toward pricey sectors like technology.

Mid-cap stocks were in the sweet spot of the market just a short while ago, but now it seems the tech/telecom selloff has reached their ranks, too. The average mid-cap growth fund is down 1.1%, which isn't bad compared with the

S&P 500's

5.8% slide. Over the past few years investors have focused their attention on big-cap growth stocks, but mid-cap stocks are worth a look too because they offer solid long-term growth prospects.

If you're looking for a mid-cap growth fund whose manager isn't wet behind the ears, we've started the process for you. We screened 230-fund category for those funds that beat their average peer this year and over the last three- and five-year periods with the same manager at the helm. Only 17 funds made the cut; here's a top-10 list, ranked by their year-to-date returns.

We've also screened these 10 leading funds to see what stocks their managers are betting on these days, but first let's look at the funds.

If you work with a broker, check out broker-sold chart-topper

(CVGRX) - Get Report

Calamos Growth, where manager John Calamos (

see our interview with him) has quietly built one of the category's most enviable records. The fund beats more than 90% of its peers over the last one-, three- and five-year periods, according to

Morningstar

.

A knock on the fund is its high annual expense ratio, 2%, compared with its peers' 1.56% average.

The no-load runner-up,

(POGSX) - Get Report

Pin Oak Aggressive Stock, stands out, too. Co-managers James Oelschlager, Donna Barton and Douglas MacKay have run the fund since its 1992 inception. The fund is risky -- holding just 25 or so stocks -- and had a 90% tech-stock weighting on Sept. 30. But if you're looking for a tech fund or a tech-heavy mid-cap fund, this is a good option.

In addition to the other funds on our list, you might consider the no-load

(FIDYX)

Invesco Dynamics fund where lead manager Tim Miller has held the reins since 1993. The tech-heavy fund beats its average peer over the last one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods, according to Morningstar.

As you might imagine, most mid-cap growth funds typically have a big tech appetite. In fact, the average mid-cap growth fund has some 45% of its money invested in the sector. That techy streak is confirmed by a screen of these 10 leading funds' top-10 cumulative stock picks.

The list kicks off with three big-cap tech names that most growth managers are riding these days: networker

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

, chip shop

PMC Sierra

(PMCS)

and data storage firm

Network Appliance

(NTAP) - Get Report

. The trio is up 57% this year, on average.

Editorial assistant Dan Bernstein contributed to this article.