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Hussman Goes International

Plus, American Fund shareholders appeal excessive-fee decision, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 03/08/2010

John Hussman, the manager of Hussman Strategic Growth HSGFX and Hussman Strategic Total Return HSTRX, has launched a new international fund.

Hussman is running the fund with seed money until he is sure that his first international fund will be operationally ready to manage billions of dollars, as his other funds do. Hussman told Morningstar that he expects to open the fund for outside investment sometime this summer.

When he does, Hussman Strategic International Equity HSIEX will be modeled after Hussman's successful $5.3 billion Strategic Growth. That fund is up 8.19% annualized since its 2000 inception through Dec. 31, 2009. The S&P 500 lost 1.04% annualized over the same period.

That fund owns stocks Hussman thinks are undervalued and uses various hedging techniques when Hussman thinks market valuation or market action is unfavorable. The new fund aims to beat the MSCI EAFE Index over a full market cycle.PAGEBREAK

Bill Hester, a senior financial analyst who has worked with Hussman for more than six years, will comanage the fund. This will be Hester's first manager job.

Fees will be high, at least initially. The fund will charge an expense ratio of 2.02%, according to a Sept. 8, 2009, prospectus. It requires a $1,000 minimum initial investment or $500 for IRAs or a gift to minor account.

To see the complete filing, click here.

Vanguard Changes Sector Benchmarks
Vanguard has changed the target benchmarks for 10 of its sector index funds and ETFs. The firm says the change, which became effective Feb. 26, will help ensure better index-tracking. The change follows a similar move Fidelity adopted on Jan. 1 for its actively managed sector funds.

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