William Blair Growth Fund

Scorecard
4 / 5 Stars
Lipper
3 3 4 3 2
Zacks Investment Research
1 (Strong Buy)
Standard & Poor's
4 / 5 Stars
TheStreet.com
A- (Buy)

#82 in Large Growth

U.S. News evaluated 465 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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Performance

The fund has returned 21.92 percent over the past year, 13.05 percent over the past three years, 19.81 percent over the past five years, and 8.39 percent over the past decade. 

Trailing Returns Updated 03.31.2014
Year to date -0.5%
1 Year 21.9%
3 Years (Annualized) 13.1%
5 Years (Annualized) 19.8%
10 Years (Annualized) 8.4%

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Summary

William Blair Growth has hit a rough patch. 

As of April 22, 2014, the fund has assets totaling almost $906.55 million invested in 58 different holdings. Its portfolio consists of shares of companies that span the market capitalization spectrum.

At first glance, this seems like the typical large-growth fund. As of the end of February, Apple represented 5 percent of its portfolio. Other top holdings included McDonald's, PepsiCo, and Google. But a closer look reveals that the fund has less than half of its assets in large-cap names. As of the end of February, small-cap and mid-cap companies accounted for 52 percent of its portfolio. On top of that, management even dabbles in micro-caps. By sector, management has shown a preference for tech names, which as of the end of February made up roughly a quarter of the fund's stock holdings. After beating both the broader market and the average for Morningstar's large-growth category in 2009, the fund slowed down quite a bit last year and continued to struggle in the opening months of 2011. During this slow stretch, the fund's large position in Microsoft was a huge detractor from its performance. The fund has returned 21.92 percent over the past year and 13.05 percent over the past three years.

Since the turn of the century, this fund hasn't had many truly standout years. But it hasn't had many awful ones, either. As a result of its fairly consistent performance, its 10-year returns were, as of the end of 2010, good enough to land it in the top 26 percent of its Morningstar category. The fund has returned 19.81 percent over the past five years and 8.39 percent over the past decade. 

Investment Strategy

Management focuses on funds with dominant market positions and unique products. In addition, management looks for clean balance sheets and strong returns on equity. The fund's holdings span the market capitalization spectrum. 

Role in Portfolio

Morningstar calls this fund a "core" holding.  

Management

John Jostrand and David Fording run the fund. 

Fees

William Blair Growth Fund has an expense ratio of 1.19 percent. 

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Risk

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

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