September 25, 2008

Ahead of the pack

Karin Anderson outlines a few funds that kept their hands out of the financials cookie jar in a handy article for Morningstar.

She highlights the Pioneer Cullen Value fund as a large-value fund that has focused on large companies with competitive positions despite having 15 percent in financial stocks. The fund avoided Lehman, AIG, and Fannie and Freddie, while holding larger positions in Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

FPA Crescent, she says, is a moderate-allocation fund with over 40 percent of its assets in cash. And everyone has been losing money this year, so this fund's 2.6 percent loss doesn't seem so bad compared to the typical 12.6 percent drop.

Brown Capital Management Small Company had no exposure to the financial sector, according to Anderson. She says the fund looks for firms with less than $250 million in operating revenue and can grow revenue and earnings at double-digit rates for several years. She says it also favors firms with a lot of cash and low debt loads.

"[F]inancial stocks simply don't fit their criteria," she says, "and the portfolio tends to be heavily skewed toward health-care and technology stocks."

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