Wells Fargo Advantage Large Cap Growth Fund

U.S. News evaluated 466 Large Growth Funds. Our list highlights the top-rated funds for long-term investors based on the ratings of leading fund industry researchers.

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Note: Profile written for different share class.

Performance

The fund has returned 33.68 percent over the past year, 14.97 percent over the past three years, 23.14 percent over the past five years, and 8.01 percent over the past decade.

Trailing Returns Updated 02.28.2014
Year to date 3.8%
1 Year 33.7%
3 Years (Annualized) 15.0%
5 Years (Annualized) 23.1%
10 Years (Annualized) 8.0%

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Summary

Wells Fargo Advantage Large Cap Growth's long-term numbers leave much to be desired.

As of March 05, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $1.58 billion invested in 82 different holdings. Its portfolio consists primarily of shares of large companies.

For this fund, 2010 was a tale of Apple and Google. As of December 2010, these two holdings represented roughly 9 percent of the fund's portfolio. This led to mixed results last year. On the one hand, Apple had a blockbuster year, and investors reaped the benefits. At the same time, Google, after surging to a 100-plus percent return in 2009, finished last year with a negative annual return. This set the stage for a solid, but not spectacular, 2010 for this fund. In the year ending in July 2010, another detractor was the healthcare company Baxter International, which was suffering from uncertainty over healthcare reform and losing market share after raising prices on one of its products. Seeing the writing on the wall, management ditched its position to limit losses. Meanwhile, the fund's financial holdings haven't yielded the results that management was expecting. "We felt that an uptick in the economy would be good for capital markets-related businesses and would put some upward pressure on interest rates, which would be good for operations. Unfortunately, uncertain economic footing has delayed this," management says in the fund's latest annual report. The fund has returned 33.68 percent over the past year and 14.97 percent over the past three years. 

Historically, this fund has made a habit of finishing toward the middle or bottom of the pack. Since 2000, it hasn't finished a single year in the top 30 percent of Morningstar's large-growth category. During the trailing 10-year period ending at the end of 2010, the fund underperformed the S&P 500 by 3 percentage points. In other words, investors in a plain-vanilla index fund would have fared significantly better. The fund has returned 23.14 percent over the past five years and 8.01 percent over the past decade. 

Investment Strategy

According to the fund's prospectus: "We focus on companies that dominate their market, are establishing new markets or are undergoing dynamic change. We believe earnings and revenue growth relative to expectations are critical factors in determining stock price movements. Thus, our investment process is centered around finding companies with under-appreciated prospects for robust and sustainable growth in earnings and revenue. To find that growth, we use bottom-up research, emphasizing companies whose management teams have a history of successfully executing their strategy and whose business model has sufficient profit potential."

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar calls this fund a "supporting player."

Management

A team of three managers runs the fund. 

Fees

Wells Fargo Advantage Large Cap Growth Fund has an expense ratio of 1.32 percent. 

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Risk

Like all stock funds, this one comes with some risks.

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