No. of Recommendations: 2
Greetings CentexHorn,

I have 5 funds in my 401(k). The year-to-date returns have been pretty blah so far-except for the small-cap value fund.

What are the rankings of these funds against their peers? Also, these are just 3 month returns you're comparing you realize right? http://www.barra.com/research/summary_returns.asp notes returns from 9 indices that somewhat correspond to Morningstar's 9 style boxes for US stocks that some would say show blah returns except for the Mid-cap 400 Value and Small-cap 600 Value that show returns of 9.93% and 10.25% respectively.

It is showing a little over 10% gain for the year.

This so needs context. What are small-cap value indices returns so far this year and what is the average small-cap value fund's return in this time frame as that 10% could be great, good, blah, poor or sad, IMO.

Is it a good idea to move some money out of the other funds and ride the small-cap horse for awhile, then rebalance later in the year, or whenever the other funds show a pulse?

If you want to try some technical analysis on funds to try to time movements back and forth fine but I don't do that. I believe in having an asset allocation that I will stick with over the long haul that suits my risk tolerance and is a low maintainence form of investing from my view.

I know riding one fund is not good for the long term, but how about short term?

NO! One fund can be great for the long term if it has what you believe you're asset allocation will be over the long term as some people may use a kitchen sink fund and then nothing else. If you want to trade funds over the short term within your 401(k) then you may want to look at a site or two that does this such as joelxwil's site at http://www.actwin.com/kalostrader/

Right now I have S&P 500, dividend growth, small-cap value, international, and a little bond.

Which category is dividend growth? Large-cap blend or value?

I think the big question you have to ask yourself is what overall strategy are you trying to use with those mutual funds as well as whether or not some of those have an overlap that you may or may not realize. For example, if that dividend growth fund is Fidelity's Dividend Growth fund then I think it only fair to say that this fund over the past 3 years has an 85% co-relation with the S & P 500 so in many ways it is in synch with that index which isn't as hot as small-cap value. http://quicktake.morningstar.com/Fund/RatingsAndRisk.asp?Country=USA&Symbol=FDGFX is a source for my figure that will change each month somewhat I suspect.

For myself, I hold 5 funds in various categories and have various results with them where my mid-cap value fund is doing the best although my large-cap funds should come back over time as markets do rotate as noted over the past 20 years by http://www.callan.com/resource/periodic_table/pertable.pdf that I think may be worth a good look to see this as in the late 1990s large-cap growth did well and now it is way down while small-cap value has done really well in 2000 and 2001 as measured by the Russell 2000 Value index.

Just some food for thought,
JB

PS - Keep the questions coming if you have them.
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