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By Greg Carlson | 01-05-2011 01:57 PM

Janus' Lynn: A Long-Term Focus Is Key

2010 International-Stock Manager of the Year Brent Lynn discusses the fund's performance in a tough 2008 and the subsequent rebound.

Carlson: Now the fund has been extremely successful during your tenure, it's trounced, frankly, the broader foreign market benchmarks, as well as its foreign large-growth competitors.

But it's also been fairly volatile over time and had a tough time in the bear market, particularly 2008. Can you talk a little bit about the fund's risks and whether you generally expect it to underperform in tough environments like that?

Lynn: Yes. I guess I would say that I believe this is a very humbling business, and my fund has certainly had periods of poor performance. 2008 was by far the worst. We lost a lot of money for our fundholders. What we do is, we focus on the long term. I believe that the only way to sustainably make money for fundholders is to focus on long-term investing, because markets can be volatile and markets can go down sharply. 2008 was an extreme case.

And so, in 2008, for example, what did we do? When the markets fell precipitously, we focused the fund and concentrated the fund in our favorite, highest-conviction names around the world. And Fortunately, in 2009-2010 the markets rebounded, and many of these stocks were able to rebound. I think the key to that is to take a long-term approach to investing. In that way, we can withstand these difficult markets.

But in answer to your initial question, yes, I think in a number of bear-market environments, the fund perhaps will underperform because we take these high-conviction investments. It's very important, I think, to note that the fund is really only appropriate for investors who have a long-term time horizon and have a relatively high risk tolerance.

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