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Rating:Odd Lots, February 18, 2000 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, February 18, 2000

Odd Lots, February 18, 2000

Reported by Hayley Green

Mutual fund rules backed by European Parliament
From The Wall Street Journal
The European Parliament said it will back a new bill liberalizing investment rules for pan-European mutual funds. Parliament's version of the bill, passed at first reading Thursday, must now be approved by the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, representing more than 15 member governments. The passage of the bill will boost the growing industry of mutual funds that sell to investors outside their home country. The directive would allow cross-border funds to diversify into such assets as money-market instruments and units or shares of other mutual funds. It would also exempt index-tracking funds, allowing them to put up to 20% of their assets in one stock, raising the current 10%-limit. This would help index-tracking funds in such markets as Finland, Sweden and Britain where Nokia, Ericsson and Vodafone dominate.

Lopsided balanced funds
From The Wall Street Journal
Balanced funds are not as evenly weighted as one would imagine. Most balanced funds mix blue-chip stocks with high-quality bonds in roughly a 60/40 mix. The average balanced fund, last year, pinched out a return of only 8.7%, according to Lipper Inc. Last year's top-performing balanced funds: Green Century Balanced Fund jumped 76.4%, Berger Balanced Fund increased 44.6% and Janus Balanced Fund grew 23.5%.

Success at Firsthand
From TheStreet.com
The money is rolling in at Firsthand Funds which has been soaking up $500 million to $1 billion in new cash in each of the last few months. There has been so much money that the managers are having a hard time putting the cash to work. But there are no plans to turn off the cash faucet any time soon. Firsthand's mutual fund assets have grown to $2.9 billion at year-end from just $232 million at the end of 1998, Financial Research Corp. The average tech fund has 7.9% of its assets in cash, according to Morningstar.  

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