Experience Required

Financial adviser Dawn Brown chooses three mutual funds with a proven history of strong performance and seasoned management

FPA Crescent Fund (FPACX) is also a value-oriented portfolio, although it gathers up a wide variety of investments—large- and small-cap stocks, foreign company shares, and bonds. Its manager, Steven Romick, has done a fantastic job as well: The fund ranks in the top 11%, 4%, and 1% according to Morningstar stats for the last three, five, and 10 years, respectively. The manager is a fan of large caps right now, with Aon, Walmart, and Microsoft in the portfolio. At the same time, he has a lot of leeway and can hold cash—which is now just under 20% of the portfolio—until the right opportunities come along. Turnover is relatively low at 32%, as are expenses at 1.17%. The fund’s required initial investment is $1,500 or $100 as part of an IRA.
1-YEAR RETURN:      15.80%
5-YEAR RETURN:      6.47%
10-YEAR RETURN:     9.51%
EXPENSE RATIO:     1.13%

T. Rowe Price New Asia (PRASX)  is a good way to gain exposure to the rapid developments in the two emerging markets where almost 60% of the portfolio is invested. Manager Anh Lu took over in 2009, but worked with the previous manager before assuming the top spot. Asia is growing quickly, but we’ve seen instances when the fund is down as a good point to jump in. Take 2008 and 2009, for example. The fund fell 61% during the near collapse of global financial markets, but came back with a 103% gain the next year. The fund is a relatively active trader with a 49% turnover, but it keeps expenses low at 1%. The T. Rowe Price fund requires a first investment of $2,500 or $1,000 for IRAs. Finally, we like the long-term scenario for Asia’s growing economies—China and India.
1-YEAR RETURN:     19.27%
5-YEAR RETURN:      17.06%
10-YEAR RETURN:     17.11%


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