NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Weitz Funds can boast about some strong long-term track records. During the past 15 years, Weitz Partners Value ( WPVLX) returned 9.7% annually, outdoing the S&P 500 by 3.6 percentage points and topping 97% of large blend funds, according to Morningstar. Weitz Value ( WVALX) also produced stellar results, returning 8.8% and surpassing 98% of peers in the large value category.But the Weitz funds are only for patient shareholders. Diehard value investors, the Weitz managers take stocks that have delivered disappointing earnings or fallen out of favor. As a result, the funds sometimes trail the markets for long periods. In 2008, both Weitz funds lagged most of their peers. For many investors, the best choice may be one of the company's younger funds, Weitz Partners III Opportunity (WPOIX). Partners III outdid most peers in 2008. During the past five years, the fund topped Weitz Partners Value and Weitz Value by 3 percentage points annually.