Fidelity Growth Discovery Soars

This fund has taken off since it gained a new manager and new strategy earlier this year.

Here's a large-company growth fund that'll rev up your portfolio: Fidelity Growth Discovery. From the time it gained a new manager and a growth-oriented slant in February 2007 through October 26, the fund posted an eye-popping gain of 29%. During that same period, Standard & Poor's 500-stock index returned 8%.

Growth Discovery's new skipper, Jason Weiner, is no stranger to the fund. He actually ran it in its early years, when it was called Contrafund II (Fidelity launched the fund in April 1998 when it closed the original Contrafund to new investors.)

Weiner also has steered several other diversified, growth-oriented funds, including Fidelity Independence and Fidelity Export & Multinational, as well as a couple of sector funds. He currently manages one other fund: Fidelity Advisor Equity Growth, a load fund with a strategy identical to that of Growth Discovery (symbol FDSVX). That fund, which Weiner took over in November 2006, gained 30% over the past year. It ranks in the top 6% of funds that invest in large, growing companies.

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Weiner, who describes his strategy as "extremely flexible," invests in companies of any size, although he leans heavily toward the market's giants. He also can hunt abroad for companies with the best earnings-growth potential. Foreign names, including Japanese game maker Nintendo and Finnish mobile phone supplier Nokia (NOK), recently occupied a quarter of the $753 million fund.

Weiner also favors U.S.-based "global growers," such as Schlumberger (SLB). Although the fund holds more than 130 stocks, Growth Discovery is top-heavy: its largest 40 positions account for 70% of assets.

The fund has been soaring lately thanks to a hefty weighting in technology, which made up 40% of assets recently. In hunting for tech stocks, Weiner says he looks for companies with unique business models.

"Google, for example, has a business model not found anywhere," he says. "This company can do business with large corporations all the way down to corner pizza shops." Google (GOOG), along with storage provider EMC (EMC) and Research in Motion (RIMM), maker of the wildly popular Blackberry devices, have been among the fund's top performers.

Growth Discovery requires a minimum $2,500 investment. Its annual expense ratio of 0.80% is below-average.

Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance