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Fund Spy

Investors Behaving Badly

Disastrously impatient shareholders have earned less than one fourth of this fund's stellar 10-year gain.

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From its name to its strategy to its battle-tested manager's background as a high-yield credit researcher,  Fidelity Leveraged Company Stock lives (FLVCX) and dies by its mandate.

Twenty-two year Fidelity veteran Tom Soviero has run this unusual mid-cap blend fund since July 2003, delivering wildly volatile yet in some ways utterly predictable performance. En route to a category- and benchmark-shellacking cumulative return of nearly 153% between his arrival and June 2011, the fund has enjoyed approximately 1.3 times the category's gains--and an almost exactly proportionate share of its losses.

Just as predictable: As they often do with such volatile vehicles, investors have had a difficult time using this fund well. The mammoth gap between its 10-year total return (13.6%) and investor return (3.2%) makes it a nearly perfect example of the kind of funds that reward the kind of patience not many investors actually have.

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