None of Morningstar's three Fund Managers of the Year made you rich quick in 2001. We’ve just suffered through the worst year for the markets in nearly 30 years--leaving most funds in the red. However, in tough times like these, managers really earn their keep. Our Managers of the Year made money for shareholders though the sky was falling and lesser managers were suffering horrendous losses.
When choosing a Manager of the Year, we don't just look for funds that have scored great gains in a single year--or even over the long haul. In addition to prizing a manager's ability to generate exceptional returns, we look for those who have shown a willingness to align their interests with shareholders’. Additionally, we favor those managers who have exhibited the courage to stay with their strategies in order to produce superior risk-adjusted returns in the end.
As it turns out, a surprisingly large number of strong candidates exhibited those qualities in spades in 2001. Three clear themes emerge from the names we selected this year. Not only are all three winners value managers who prize Benjamin Graham's "margin of safety," but they have all exhibited a willingness to be extremely candid with their shareholders. Finally, they're all experienced hands who reacted with calm amid the squalls of 2001.
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Russel Kinnel has a position in the following securities mentioned above: OAKLX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.