European-stock funds come out winners this month, and more.
Fidelity is overhauling its equity-income funds in an attempt to boost
income. The firm is giving new managers, new mandates, and a more distinctive
look to Fidelity Equity-Income
Stephen Petersen, who managed Fidelity Equity-Income for more than 18 years, is being replaced by a three-manager team of James Morrow, Adam Kramer, and Ramona Persaud. Morrow will serve as lead manager, with Kramer running a high-yield and convertible sleeve and Persaud running a global equity sleeve.
Under Petersen, the fund closely hugged its benchmark, the Russell 3000 Value
Index, and delivered middling returns during the trailing three, five, 10, and
15 years through September. During those time periods, investors had to put up
with higher volatility--measured by standard deviation--than the fund's
large-value category average. With new managers at the helm, the fund will have
greater leeway to use fixed income and convertibles to boost yield. For a better
sense of how this trio will run the fund, investors can look at Fidelity
Advisor Equity Income
Fidelity veteran Scott Offen is taking the lead at Fidelity Equity-Income
II--succeeding Petersen, who had managed there since 2009. Offen will run the
fund more as a pure equity portfolio, with a focus on increasing yield. Offen
has managed Fidelity
Under Petersen, the funds had less of an income focus, which left Fidelity without a true equity-income fund. It remains to be seen if new management can increase income returns, but investors can certainly expect the funds to strike a bolder profile.
European-Stock Funds Come Out on Top, for Now
The results of the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday eased fears of financial contagion and kicked off a morning market rally. But a deeper look at the data shows that Europe-focused equity funds have already been on a strong run for the past month. European-stock funds are down roughly 9.75% thus far this year, placing them in the middle of the international fund category pack. But during the trailing one-month period, European-stock funds have returned more than 11% on average, making them the top-performing category not only among international but also domestic and fixed-income funds. JPMorgan Russia
Northern Funds has a New Year's present for its investors. Starting in 2012, the fund company will reduce the total annual fund operating expenses for 35 equity, bond, and fixed-income funds, including a 25-basis-point decrease for Northern Large Cap Value
Nicholas Price joined Fidelity
International Small Cap
Howard Potter resigned as portfolio comanager of Steward Select
Bradley Fretz is no longer a portfolio comanager with Old Mutual
Large Cap Growth
James Barrow is no longer the lone manager of Old
Mutual Barrow Hanley Value
Jill Fields left her position as co-portfolio manager of MassMutual
Premiere Diversified Bond
Howard Booth is no longer a portfolio comanager with Mainstay Global
Director of mutual fund research Russel Kinnel and mutual fund analyst Flynn Murphy contributed to this report.