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Four Mutual Fund Turkeys That Survived Thanksgiving

Some chefs hate their own cooking.

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Not all turkeys get killed on Thanksgiving. Consider these four mutual funds. No sane person would ever invest in them. But they're still around even though two of the four managers have no money in their funds, while the other two have only token investments in theirs. I don't blame them. (To see all of our Analyst Pans,  click here.)

GAMCO Mathers (MATRX) is one such fund. When Gabelli Asset Management bought the fund, I figured it was a cheap asset deal and they'd merge it into something better. But they've kept this perma bear fund unchanged. The portfolio is 85% in cash but charges shareholders a 2.13% expense ratio for its excellent Treasury bill selection skills. Although that cash made it look better than most funds in 2008, its 10-year annualized returns are a meager 0.21% (or one tenth of its fees) and land in the bottom 10% of conservative allocation funds.

But of course, manager Henry Van der Eb who has run the fund since 1974 has faith, right? Well, he doesn't have any money in the fund.

Russel Kinnel does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.