Diversified U.S. stock mutual funds returned more than 12 percent on average in the first three months of the year, the best first-quarter fund performance since 1998. It was a welcome turnaround from 2011, when funds lost nearly 3 percent over the full year, on average.
The rapid market turnaround has produced surprising first-quarter results for mutual fund managers. Several renowned managers are again beating their peers by big margins, after trailing the vast majority last year. Below is a look at the first-quarter comebacks for six top managers. Each is a past winner of Morningstar's fund manager of the year award in his fund category, and four — Bruce Berkowitz, Bill Miller, Bill Gross and David Herro — are past winners of manager of the decade awards.
|Manager||Fund name and symbol||Fund's investment category||1st quarter 2012 return||Percentile rank of fund's 1st quarter return vs. peers||2011 full-year return or loss||Percentile rank of fund's 2011 return vs. peers|
|Bruce Berkowitz||Fairholme Fund (FAIRX)||Large-cap value||31.1%||1st||-32.4%||100th|
|Bill Miller||Legg Mason Capital Management Opportunity (LMOPX)||Mid-cap value||25.5||2nd||-34.9||100th|
|Bill Gross||PIMCO Total Return (PTTAX)||Intermediate-term bond||2.8||13th||3.7||89th|
|Brent Lynn||Janus Overseas (JDIAX)||Foreign large-cap growth||19.9||2nd||-32.9||98th|
|Michael Hasenstab||Templeton Global Bond (TPINX)||World bond||7||4th||-2.4||96th|
|David Herro||Oakmark International (OAKIX)||Foreign large-cap value||17||1st||-14.1||66th|