Fidelity, Putnam, Miller Among 'Coal' Awardees
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Fidelity, Putnam, Miller Among 'Coal' Awardees

MarktetWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe on Sunday named the recipients of the second half of his 13th Annual Lump of Coal Awards, which recognizes the fund industry's "bad little children."

Fidelity made Jaffe's list for sticking too long with a global growth strategy. Jaffe noted that two-thirds of Fido's 180 actively managed domestic stock funds currently rank below their average peer for the year, and more than half of its international offerings are in the same situation. Of the 42 managers focusing on growth and growth-and-income funds, 37 are trailing the S&P 500.

Fellow Beantown-based Putnam Investments likewise landed on the list. Putnam's decision, under new CEO Bob Reynolds, to go from a team approach to individual management is tantamount to "switching your coin-flip bet from heads to tails; both approaches are equally promising... and risky," Jaffe wrote. He added that Putnam effectively gave itself a Lump of Coal award when it abandoned its old ways, an admission that those methods weren't working.

Bill Miller, whose Legg Mason Value Trust is down about 55 percent, is also on the list, along with the SEC, ICI president Paul Schott Stevens, Schwab YieldPlus, die-hard supporters of ETFs, promoters of ETNs, and the fund industry itself.

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