The Feeling Is Mutual

A bevy of black-managed mutual funds is bringing new investors into the market, B.E. checks out what they have to offer.

Baltimore mutual fund manager T. Rowe Price. As of this writing, Brown’s Balanced Fund had a 17.58% total return, while Equity and Samll Company had posted 21.4% and 17.58%, respectively.

Chapman U.S. Treasury Money Fund DEM Inc. (Nasdaq: DEMI) 800-752-1013
You’ll probably not see much about Nathan Chapman’s U.S. Treasury Fund in personal finance magazines, since their minimum initial investment of $ 1 million narrows the market to institutions and high net worth clientele. Chapman, who arguably has bragging rights to being the first African American to establish a fund from the ground up, has won over business from corporations like Texaco and the City of Baltimore by running a lean shop to keep expenses to a minimum.

Chapman’s DEM Inc. is a closed-end fund–it trades as a stock would on the Nasdaq small company exchange and is available to investors via a stock broker. The portfolio is like chat of a mutual fund. Chapman invests DEM, which came to market in August of last year, in companies run by African Americans, women, Hispanics and Asians, with BET, Carver Federal and Granite Broadcasting among his largest holdings. Year to date, the fund’s net asset value is up 20.6%.

Highland Growth Fund Highland Aggressive Growth 888-557-3200
Rob Lamb couldn’t have picked a better launching date. Highland bought into a lot of its favorite technology shares–stocks like Newbridge Networks and Cisco Systems–before they rallied. The result: Lamb’s growth fund got a 7.4% jump his first months out the gate. Lamb says he’s angling for stocks that are in line for solid earnings growth as well as positive earnings surprises. That’s guided his fund not only toward tech stocks but to big names like Merck and Citicorp as well. Lamb says his aggressive growth fund should be up and running late in 1997.

Lou Holland Growth Fund 800-295-9779
You might remember Lou Holland from an appearance in the Moneywise Private Screening column this May. Holland favors stocks with the promise of good earnings growth, but only if the price is right. That keeps his picks pretty close to the S&P 500 P/E of 20. Holland’s criteria zeroed in on health care companies like Eli Lilly, Merck, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson earlier this year, and he’s invested technology shares like Intel, Microsoft and Oracle as well. As of June 30, Holland’s fund was up 20.83% year to date and 44.1% since its inception at the end of April last year.

Kenwood Growth & Income 888-536-3863
Fund manager Barbara Bowles says things are getting a bit pricey. And while the biggest 30 or so companies have outpaced the market, she thinks that’s about to end. Bowles’ portfolio concentrates on the medium- sized companies in the S&P mid-cap 400, a range she thinks still holds some good values. Kenwood posted a total return of 13.52%, compared to 10.13% for the S&P mid caps, during its first full year. Right now Bowles’ largest positions include Mylan Laboratories, a generic drug producer; LCI International, a telecommunications firm; and Occidental Petroleum, an oil producer.

Profit Value Fund 888-335-6629
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