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Fund Spy

Will These Fallen Heroes Ride Again?

Bet on the jockey, not the horse.

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Deciding whether to buy or keep a fund that was once a top performer can be tricky. Besides all the normal factors to consider, you may have to sort through some emotional baggage. If the fund made you money in the past, you may be biased toward it even though it may be under new management and look much different from it once did.

In the best cases, star funds remain stars--if not forever, at least for decades. Among funds in that small category are  American Funds Growth Fund of America (AGTHX),  Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX),  T. Rowe Price Equity Income  (PRFDX),  Loomis Sayles Bond (LSBRX), and  Vanguard Wellington (VWELX).

But many other onetime luminaries have sagged, lagged, or gagged because their management or strategies changed.

Russel Kinnel has a position in the following securities mentioned above: LSBRX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.