Recent Study Ranks Mutual Fund Families

Physician's Money Digest, June15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 11

Barron's

recently announced theresults of its eighth annual study ofthe top-performing mutual fundfamilies for 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years.To qualify for the study, fund companieshad to have a diversified stable of portfolios,including at least one money marketfund, three US diversified stock funds, oneinternational equity fund, and one balancedfund. The fund companies werealso required to have two taxable bondfunds and one tax-exempt bond fund. So,which fund families made the grade?

One-Year Wonders

Noteworthy newsmakers:

The top five 1-year performers wereCDC IXIS Asset Management Advisors,Legg Mason/Western Asset Management,Pimco Advisors, Delaware Management,and Harris Investment Management. The top 1-yearperformer from 2002, State Farm InvestmentManagement, fell all the way to19th place in 2003. Conversely, CDC IXISjumped from number 63 in 2002 to thetop spot in 2003.

Rounding out the top ten 2003 performerswere Columbia Funds, Citigroup,Seligman Funds, Merrill Lynch InvestmentManagers, and Banc of America CapitalManagement. The article notes that sinceUS stock funds accounted for close to 60%of the weighting used to determine afund family's ranking, strong equity performancewas key.

Continued Success

The top 5-year winners includedPimco Advisors, American Funds, FranklinTempleton, Legg Mason/Western AssetManagement, and WM Group of Funds.Pimco Advisors jumped to the top afterplacing third back in 2002, whileAmerican Funds jumped from numberfour to number two. Rounding out thetop 10 were Harris Investment, SentinelAdvisors, Hartford Mutual Funds, LordAbbett, and T. Rowe Price.

When it comes to longevity, AmericanFunds takes top honors again. For thethird year in a row, the fund family finishedfirst in the 10-year survey. AmericanFunds was followed in the study's 10-yeartop 10 by GE Asset, Franklin Templeton,Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Columbia,Eaton Vance, Van Kampen, Fidelity, andMerrill Lynch.

Category Winners

Barron's

The survey also ranks the topmutual fund families by category. Forexample, the 1-year winners in the categoryof Tax-Exempt Bond Funds wereOppenheimer Funds, Eaton Vance, DelawareManagement, Franklin Templeton,and Van Kampen. Meanwhile, the top five1-year winners in the category of TaxableBond Funds were Pioneer Investment,CDC IXIS, New York Life, Calvert/Acacia,and Lord Abbett.

CDC IXIS, which finished first in theoverall survey, also finished first in theBalanced Funds category. Finishing off thetop five in the Balanced Funds categorywere Franklin Templeton, Guardian, OppenheimerFunds, and UBS Global Asset.

In the Domestic Funds category, the topfive finishers were State Farm, LeggMason/Western, Pimco Advisors, HarrisInvestment, and CDC IXIS. Meanwhile,across the pond in the Foreign Funds category,the top five finishers were SentinelAdvisors, AmSouth Asset, Legg Mason/Western, Harris Investment, and OppenheimerFunds.

The article notes that the mutual fundscandal had varying effects on a numberof fund families. For example, AllianceCapital Management, which agreed tolower its management fees as part of asettlement agreement, came in 23rd onthe list.