4 / 5 Stars
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Standard & Poor's
3 / 5 Stars
#29 in Mid-Cap Growth
U.S. News evaluated 221 Mid-Cap Growth Funds. Our list highlights the top-rated funds for long-term investors based on the ratings of leading fund industry researchers.
The fund has returned 27.96 percent over the past year, 16.19 percent over the past three years, and 19.40 percent over the past five years.
|Trailing Returns||Updated 11.30.2013|
|Year to date||28.3%|
|3 Years (Annualized)||16.2%|
|5 Years (Annualized)||19.4%|
|10 Years (Annualized)||9.9%|
Ave Maria Growth, as its name implies, is a socially responsible fund that looks to provide religious investors with capital appreciation.
As of December 04, 2013, the fund has assets totaling almost $275.45 million invested in 37 different holdings. Its portfolio consists of a mix of mid- and large-cap companies.
Ave Maria Growth is geared toward Catholic investors. As such, it uses religious screens to eliminate certain companies, such as businesses that are involved in embryonic stem cell research or that produce pornography, from consideration. Companies that pass its screens are fair game. In 2010, some of the fund's highest-conviction holdings, like Cognizant Technology Solutions, AMETEK, and Altera, performed well. While technically a mid-cap fund, Ave Maria Growth also gives investors significant exposure to larger, more established companies. These large-cap holdings came in handy in 2008, when blue chips suffered less than their smaller counterparts. That year, the fund lost nearly 12 percentage points less than the average fund in Morningstar's mid-cap growth category. Still, the fund's cautious approach held it back a bit in 2009 when riskier fare started to rally. The fund has returned 27.96 percent over the past year and 16.19 percent over the past three years.
Since launching in 2003, this fund has put together a steady track record for its investors. Notably, as of the end of March, the fund's trailing five-year returns beat those of the S&P 500 by upward of 4 percentage points. They also landed the fund comfortably in the top third of its Morningstar category over that time period. The fund's worst year was in 2005, when it underperformed its Morningstar category by upward of 9 percentage points. The fund has returned 19.40 percent over the past five years.
Members of an advisory board composed of lay Roman Catholics and a retired archbishop of Detroit create the investing guidelines for this fund. Currently, the fund, which is geared toward Catholic investors, is not allowed to invest in companies that support abortion in any way. That means it stays away from a number of hospitals and insurance providers, as well as almost the entire pharmaceutical industry. It also avoids companies that are involved in pornography or embryonic stem cell research or that contribute money to Planned Parenthood. When choosing among companies that pass its screens, the fund looks to isolate growth opportunities. Management also has a strong buy-and-hold discipline, as evidenced by the fund's rock-bottom turnover ratio.
Role in Portfolio
This fund is designed for religious investors.
James Bashaw manages the fund.
Ave Maria Growth Fund has an expense ratio of 1.50 percent.
Like all stock funds, this one comes with some risks.