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The Club

Yesterday I received my monthly issue of MONEY magazine. This issue has the special feature called "The Ultimate Investment Club" that highlights their picks for the top mutual fund managers. Let's see how their members made money for their shareholders.

My readers know that the only thing that counts in my book is performance and performance means they make money and do NOT lose money so I went back to preview their record since these experts took over. When you see the results of this club you will be glad you did not go on any camping trips with them. Here are six who manage stock mutual funds.

As we go along you must keep in mind that fund managers get paid for the amount of money they have under management and not on how much they make for you.

MONEY magazine has given them titles. I will not mention their names, but will give you the fund along with the stock exchange symbol so you can look it up on the Internet at www.bigcharts.com.

"The Survivor" who manages Seligman Communications Fund (SCICX) since it was founded has seen the share price start at $35 and rise to $54 only to fall back to $15 today. He is surviving with your money, but you are not.

"The Value Master" of Legg Mason Value Trust (LMNVX) sure doesn't know when the value has run out. Under his tutelage the fund has gone from $45 to $78 to $43.

"The Maverick" of CGM Capital Development (LOMCX) has been thrown by his horse. Share price in 1976 started at $10, went to $43 and is now $18. Tough ride for the shareholders.

Now we come to "The Bargain Hunter" who took over management of Oakmark Select (OAKMX) in 2000 when the market was at its peak. It was $22 and went up (!) to $37 and is now trading at $32. He is the only winner in the group. Congratulations.

Another loser is "The Opportunist". This guy should be getting his buy recommendations from cab drivers. He could not do any worse for the Strong Opportunity Fund (SOPVX). It started at $45 and has nothing but a downward journey to its present $29.

For the Brandywine Fund (BRWIX) we have "The Growth Guru". The only thing that grew fat was his wallet off of your money. He took over in 1998 at $45 and it went down to $22 in 1999, then up to $53 and is now $20. Actually he can only be given credit for the advance from $45 to $53.

In all fairness to these losers I did not include any capital gains or dividend payouts which during the few good years they had may have been very good, but probably not good enough to keep you at "even".

There are all kinds of clubs you can join, but obviously this is not one for you. When you see advertising for various mutual funds or how wonderful some fund manager is please look beyond the hype and check out the performance.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

1-888-345-7870; [email protected]

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