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Fund Spy

Start a Fund and Hit the Jackpot--or Not

The highs and lows of the fund business can lie just pages apart.

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Government filings don't often appear on recommended reading lists. That's understandable. The phrase itself can put people to sleep. But as investigative reporters can tell you, one can find stories aplenty buried in the seemingly mundane pages of documents that typically end up filed and forgotten.

In the fund world, the filing with the tamest title often yields the most interesting stories. The Statement of Additional Information, an addendum to the prospectus, contains a wealth of data on funds, advisors, and directors. A look at a recent SAI filed by one fund firm, for example, reveals both how lucrative and how challenging the fund industry can be.

Nice Work If You Can Get It
Artio Global Management is best known in the industry as the advisor of  Artio International Equity (BJBIX). That fund has racked up an excellent record over the 15 years its current managers have run the portfolio. The SAI recently filed with the SEC covering that fund and the rest of Artio's lineup, while typical in many respects of those from others in the field, makes for particularly compelling viewing. That's because it's from a rather small firm--Artio Global Management has just six portfolio managers, along with analysts and other staff--and its filing illustrates both the promise and the peril of the business in stark terms.

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Gregg Wolper has a position in the following securities mentioned above: JETAX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.