If you want a pure asset play for the three unloved categories, consider our favorite low-cost ETFs in those areas.
This fund lets you tap one of the best growth teams for just 0.68% in expenses. Not too shabby. They've done a great job here and over a longer period at the closed but similar Vanguard Primecap (VPMCX). They do more deep fundamental research than most growth investors do. They are able to do that because they have much more experience and depth in their research team.
Joe Milano has produced top quartile performance during his nearly 10 years at the helm of this fund, yet its asset base is a rather small $2.4 billion. Milano takes a moderate approach with his growth-at-a-reasonable-price strategy. Over the years, stock selection has made this fund a winner.
It’s a classic, that’s for sure. Staley Cates and Mason Hawkins are excellent long-term investors. They run concentrated, occasionally cash-heavy portfolios with the aim of building wealth slowly without taking on too much risk along the way. They look for companies trading at a steep discount to intrinsic value and they'll allow cash to build if the market isn't offering any. They do a great job of aligning their interests with shareholders'; they invest large sums of their own money in the fund and they will close the fund when needed.
This is a tamer approach than Longleaf's, but still worth a look. Here you get a focused portfolio but with an emphasis on quality that gives the fund a little smoother ride than Longleaf does. The team running this fund has produced a cumulative 86.7% return compared with 33.4% for the S&P since the fund was launched at the end of 2001. Not too shabby.
Clyde McGregor and Rob Taylor have done an outstanding job with their absolute value approach. Each runs a focused portfolio and the end result is a diverse but compact portfolio of about 40 stocks. The fund has generally been rather evenly split between U.S. and foreign stocks. The pair run it nearly fully invested, yet lost less than most in 2008 and have enjoyed strong performance since then.
This fund boasts two seasoned value hands. Peter Langerman and Phillipe Brugere-Trelat have been managers of the fund for only a couple of years, but their careers at Mutual Series date all the way back to the 1980s. I would expect the fund to act like most in the Mutual Series family: outperform on a risk-adjusted basis by losing less in downturns and lagging only a bit in rallies. They've loaded up on quite a few established but steady names in Europe and the U.S., such as British American Tobacco, CVS, and Royal Dutch Shell.