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Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Rydex Looks Forward

by: Tony Pennino

With less than a month to go before its ninth birthday, Rydex Funds of Rockville, Maryland held a press briefing at the Waldorf Astoria here in New York City. The meeting was hosted by Skip Viragh, founder and president; Michael Byrum, cio; and Charles Tennes, director of portfolio.

They announced that their firm had filed a new fund with the SEC: the core equity fund. The fund will invest in both growth- and value-oriented securities across the small, mid, and large cap ranges.

Viragh also reported that since its opening in March Rydex's sector rotation fund has accrued $160 million in assets. "It is important to have a fund that only invests in sectors in the top quintile. This fund has a sell discipline, and investors like that," Tennes explained. "If we had this fund up and running in 2000, we figured that we would have completely abandoned the tech sector by August of that year."

Viragh also noted that Strategic Insight listed Rydex as 14 out of 345 fund families for cash inflows for the first four months of this year.

Byrum took time to explain his -- and Rydex's -- view of the market in the near future. He boiled his insights down to five points which were as follows:
  • Near term prospects will continue to disappoint investors. The P/E ratio is high, and the market is still too expensive. An improved earnings environment has failed to materialize.
  • Though there will be a wide swing in prices, investors should expect flat returns over the next few years.
  • Even if we continue with a bear or sideways market, there will still be bullish periods. He pointed to the years 1975 and 1976 as examples.
  • It is unlikely that technology will be the sector leader when the bear market ends. Traditionally, sectors that take you into a bear market are not the ones to take you out of one.
  • Increased volatility will persist over the next year.
The executive also recommended that investors should consider strategies outside of just buy-and-hold. "Investors need to be diversified across asset classes and investment strategies. They need to be patient and flexible," the executive concluded. 

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