Wait, some of these are keepers.
In a previous column, I looked at funds with the greatest inflows in dollar terms for the first half of 2008. This time, I am looking at the funds with the most net redemptions. You might well own one of these and are wondering what you should do.
1. Schwab YieldPlus Investor
We've discussed this fund before, so I won't beat a dead horse. It's a troubled fund where outflows made a bad situation much worse and you're probably better off bailing.
2. American Funds Washington Mutual
Net outflows of $3 billion or 4%.
The good news is that in percentage terms the redemptions aren't that great. The better news is that this is a great fund with a valuable dividend focus. However, the fund modestly lagged its peers from 2003 through 2006, which explains the lackluster reception the fund has gotten even though more recently it has modestly outperformed. I have as much faith in it as I do in the four American Funds that are on the list of biggest inflows.
3. Fidelity Dividend Growth
Charles Mangum's emphasis on steady growing blue chips has made the fund singularly out of step with the markets this decade. Yet he has done quite well when the markets like that style and the fund is now free from the problem of asset bloat that once worried me. I understand why people are throwing in the towel, but there may yet be life in this fund.
4. Fidelity Growth & Income
Our Fidelity expert Chris Davis summed it up nicely: Fidelity Growth & Income may be better than it looks, but it's not best of breed. I couldn't agree more. This fund will see better days but it's not compelling.
5. Fidelity Low-Priced Stock
$2.7 billion or 8% of assets.
This is a different story. Manager Joel Tillinghast is one of the best but the fund is in redemptions because Fidelity hard closed the fund. Thus, there are natural withdrawals that can't be replaced by new accounts. As long as the flows aren't great enough to start driving up trading costs or tying Tillinghast's hands, I'm not worried.
6. American Funds Investment Company of America
This is another good American fund that you'd be wise to hold.
7. PIMCO Floating Income
Net outflows of $2.5 billion or 64% of assets.
This fund seems to be getting redeemed in part because it was misunderstood. As the name implies, the fund's yield floats with interest rates so it behaves quite differently from most funds with very short duration. I don't see much use for it for individual investors but it's a fine fund for professionals who understand how it works.