Chuck Royce (Royce Pennsylvania Mutual). Royce has long been one of the most trusted names in small-cap investing. Royce Pennsylvania Mutual is his flagship fund, and he's been on its management team since the fund's inception in 1972. Recently, however, the fund has disappointed investors, failing to keep up not only with the broader market, but also with its small-cap competition. As of May 24, the fund was up 12.7 percent in 2013. That put it 2.7 percentage points behind the average for Morningstar's small-growth category and nearly 4 percentage points behind the S&P 500.
Chuck Akre (Akre Focus). Akre is a patient, tactical investor who sometimes likes to sit on the sidelines and stockpile cash until the timing seems right and he finds a company he likes. Recently, he's found a lot of those companies, particularly in the financial services sector. His positions in Moody's Corp., LPL Financial and TD Ameritrade have been particularly lucrative, and they help account for the fund's top-notch performance in 2013. As of May 24, the fund was up nearly 21 percent year to date. That's good enough to beat out both the S&P 500 and the average for Morningstar's mid-cap growth category by solid margins.
Will Danoff (Fidelity Contrafund). At the helm of the Fidelity Contrafund, Will Danoff has become one of the industry's most trusted pickers of blue chip stocks. The fund's portfolio has traditionally been packed with some of the investing world's most popular names, including Google, Coca-Cola and McDonald's. During the recent market surge, the fund has trailed the S&P 500, but that's not altogether surprising given the fund's blue-chip focus. As of May 24, the fund's trailing three-year returns lagged the S&P 500 by an average of 0.68 percentage points per year. Moreover, Apple's struggles have held the fund back a bit recently. Nonetheless, Contrafund rarely has blockbuster years. Danoff has shown over the years that given time, he can beat the market. But if you're looking for a fund that will take full advantage of a market rally, this isn't your best bet.