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No. of Recommendations: 1
Greetings EasyChap,

It is rated 4 star by MS (2/122 by Lipper since 5/94) and since inception returned 12.37%.

Wait a minute. It has a 5 star rating for the past 3 years, 3 stars for the past 5 years and 4 for the past 10 years. However, the current manager has been there for how long as the sole manager? 3 years or less? So why look at longer records?

1) Weighed against these performance metrics, should there be a cause for concern?

Since the current manager has had total control since June 2003, http://news.morningstar.com/doc/article/1,,89675,00.html makes note of the retiring manager , this takes away some things in looking at its past. The other point is that the assistant portfolio manager started in Feb. 2005 so there isn't much of a track record here that I can see that the current management is responsible for. That's how I look at it.

Another point is whether the fund being 'hot' at the moment will cause asset bloat and thus the fund will be divided amongst multiple managers that changes things again. Currently the assets are about $2.8 billion though I wonder if this will be closed again in the future. For the year it is in the top 1% of its category looking at Morningstar.

2) I don't plan on moving dollars around too much and am looking for a fund where I can leave it to grow with dividends and capital gains going back. What additional research I can do before I make this decision.

This is where I think I'd be an indexer rather than actively managed fund person if you really don't plan on moving things around. While I don't want to have yank my money from the funds I'm in, I will if the funds underperform for an extended period of time. Another point is that this is an international fund and thus may cause issues if you have an intended asset allocation between US and international holdings.

3) Any red flags about the manager that anyone is aware of?

You mean other than the lack of a record of many years which would be a big one in my books?

Regards,
JB
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