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Funds That Aren't Afraid to Show Their Independence

These managers play by their own rules in their quest to outperform the market.

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The Fourth of July conjures up images of fireworks, parades, the stars and stripes, and other symbols that help remind us of how fortunate we are to live in a great country like the United States. As investors, we have special reason to be thankful that we live in a country where anyone can participate in the stock market in the hope of achieving their own personal version of the American Dream, whether it be retiring comfortably, purchasing a home, sending the kids to college, or even just buying that vintage car they've eyed for a while.

There are some funds that seem especially appropriate for the holiday, such as  Fidelity Independence (FDFFX), Patriot (TRFAX), or any of the American Funds for that matter. But we thought we'd focus instead on the subject of independence itself. For investors who favor active management over index funds, an independent streak is typically something to be admired in a fund manager. After all, why pay high fees for a manager who's afraid to step away from his or her fund's benchmark when you could just buy the benchmark itself and lower your costs? A fund manager who is unafraid to blaze his or her own trail offers the possibility of avoiding the next market swoon or getting out ahead of its next big upward move. Of course, being an independent-minded fund manager can also mean trailing an index badly if your bet turns out to be wrong.

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

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