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Mutual Funds

Translating a Prospectus

No need to wade through all 25 pages of the offering document for Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme fund, a member of the Kiplinger 25. We tell you what's most important.

"Long-term growth of capital." Translation: We want your investment to appreciate over time.

Normally holds "a focused portfolio consisting primarily of equity securities." Translation: We generally hold a small number of stocks.

Manager looks for companies with "stress-tested owner/managers; sensible capital-allocation policies; strong competitive positions ... potential for long-term growth; low market prices in relation to tangible asset values ... and relatively high free cash flow yields." Translation: We look for growing companies run by experienced managers who do a good job of spending the company's capital, and we buy the stocks when they are undervalued.

Also invests in "special situations," such as "liquidations, reorganizations, recapitalizations, mergers ..." Translation: We invest in companies undergoing major changes.


"The Fund ... may maintain a significant portion of its total assets in cash." Translation: We may not be fully invested in stocks all the time.

"Market risk." Translation: The stock or bond markets could go down.

"Non-diversification risk." Translation: Owning relatively few securities is riskier than owning a lot of securities.

"Special situation risk." Translation: Those mergers, liquidations and reorganizations may not work out as we hope; they may even fail.


"Credit risk." Translation: Companies whose bonds we own could default.

"The Fund is managed by a portfolio team whose lead member, Bruce R. Berkowitz, is the Managing Member of the Manager ... Mr. Berkowitz has been Managing Member and Chief Investment Officer of the Manager since the Manager's inception in 1997." Translation: A team headed by Berkowitz runs the fund. He's been in charge of the management firm since 1997.

Shareholder fees (paid directly from your investment)
Maximum sales charge (load) on purchases: None
Maximum deferred sales charge (load): None
Maximum sales charge (load) imposed on reinvested dividends and other distributions: None
Redemption fee (as a percentage of amount redeemed): 2%

Translation: You won't pay anything to buy shares or reinvest dividends, but you will pay a 2% fee on any shares redeemed within 60 days of the date of purchase (that 60-day trigger is in the footnotes).


Fund operating expenses (deducted from fund assets)
Management fees: 1%
Distribution (12b-1) fees: None
Other expenses: 0%
Acquired fund fees and expenses: 0.01%
Total annual fund operating expense: 1.01%

Translation: You pay 1% of assets per year for management of the fund and other costs of running it, including legal, accounting and printing costs. The 0.01% charge is the fund's share of the expenses of other funds it invests in, such as money-market funds.

An example of expenses over time
1 year: $103
3 years: $322
5 years: $558
10 years: $1,236

Translation: This is what you'll pay in fees if you invest $10,000, the fund returns 5% each year, and expenses remain constant.