Amana Trust Income (AMANX). Manager Nicholas Kaiser must invest according to Islamic principals. That strategy paid off during the financial crisis because he wasn't allowed to invest in financial companies due to their high levels of leverage. He also doesn't invest in companies that are involved in the liquor, pornography, or gambling industries. The fund's turnover ratio is extremely low at just 5 percent. It has returned an annualized 6 percent over the past 10 years, and charges an annual fee of 1.25 percent.
Valley Forge (VAFGX). Bernard Klawans, an 89-year-old retired aerospace engineer who started managing money in the early 1970s, never had any formal training in the fund business before starting this fund. His strategy is simple: Invest in big-name value stocks that perform well over time and flock to cash when the market is down. In 2008, Klawans kept as much as 64 percent of the fund in cash. He runs a fairly concentrated portfolio: As of the end of September, the fund, which has about $22 million in assets, held only 29 stocks. Klawans remains cautious and heavily invested in cash (28 percent of total assets). Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned 6 percent annualized. Its annual fees are 1.35 percent.
Forester Value (FVALX). Management aims to protect against the downside. In 2008, Forester was the only domestic stock fund to finish the year with a positive return. The fund's returns lack consistency, though. It has finished among the bottom of its category in recent years, such as 2009, that saw big rallies in the stock market. Generally, the fund won't lead in rallies, but it won't fall as far when the going gets tough. Manager Thomas Forester says he's avoiding big banks because their balance sheets are too complicated. The fund also maintains a fairly high cash stake (20 percent of total assets). Its biggest investments are in the healthcare sector, including names like Johnson & Johnson and Kimberly-Clark. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 5 percent. Its annual fees are 1.27 percent.
SunAmerica Focused Dividend Strategy (FDSAX). Management is focused on what its name suggests: dividends. The fund is concentrated with just 30 holdings, primarily in consumer goods companies like Kraft and Altria. Last year was a banner year for the fund. It beat the returns of the S&P 500 by more than 20 percentage points. The fund has historically lagged during big rallies but has been a decent protector of wealth in downturns. Over the last 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 7 percent. Its annual fees are 0.94 percent.
Prudential Jennison Equity Income (AGOCX). This fund isn't a typical large-cap value fund. Its average market capitalization (or the size of the companies that it invests in) is a little over $8 billion. The fund will dabble in smaller companies such as B&G Foods, a manufacturer and distributor of food products including canned meats and beans. The stock is up 41 percent year-to-date. The fund also holds a fair share of foreign stocks (20 percent of total assets). Currently, the fund is overweight in utilities and telecom and is invested in names like Qualcomm, Century Link, and Comcast. The fund's performance in several years of the past decade landed it in the bottom of its category, but over the past 10 years, it has returned an annualized 4 percent. At 2.15 percent, the fund's annual fees are high for its category.