What's Changed Since 2006
Find out which funds we've dropped from the Kiplinger 25 and which ones we've added -- and see how last year's picks performed.
The latest version of the Kiplinger 25 drops seven funds that were on last year's list. They include the following:
RS Value (deleted after it began levying sales charges)
T. Rowe Price Real Estate (removed over concerns that real estate investment trusts have gotten too pricey)
Masters' Select Equity (removed because of overlap with other recommended funds and concerns about one of its outside managers).
We removed the following four funds because we believe we've found better alternatives:
Bridgeway Small-Cap Growth
Marsico International Opportunities
SSgA Emerging Markets
We replaced them with the following four funds, respectively:
Champlain Small Company
Marsico 21st Century
Julius Baer International Equity II
T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Stock
We also added the following funds:
FBR Small Cap
Performance of last year's Kiplinger 25
The Kiplinger 25 chalked up another solid year (read about the Kiplinger 25 for 2006). For the 12-month period to April 16, the domestic stock funds we recommended returned an average of 13%, and our foreign stock funds leapt 22%. But our picks, like most others, had a tough time keeping up with Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, which returned 15% (the MSCI EAFE index, which tracks foreign stocks, gained 24%). The five bond funds we recommended gained an average of 7%, matching the outcome of the Merrill Lynch US Broad Market.
All three of our portfolios held up well. The mid-term portfolio matched the S&P 500, and the short-term portfolio lagged by one percentage point. The long-term portfolio lagged, at 13% -- an anomaly resulting from a 50% weighting in growth funds that performed relatively poorly. (See the 2006 portfolios.)
Among domestic stock funds, the biggest winners were T. Rowe Price Real Estate, which gained a sizzling 30%, followed by Vanguard Selected Value (24%) and RS Value (21%). The biggest disappointments were Muhlenkamp and two Bridgeway funds, which treaded water.