Odd Lots, June 21, 1999
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Monday, June 21, 1999

Odd Lots, June 21, 1999

Kinetics calls off sale of Internet Fund
From SmartMoney
Kinetics Asset Management won't be cashing in by selling off the top-performing fund of 1998 after all. "There’s no deal as of right now," Tsering Ngudu, senior vice president of Lepercq de Neuflize told Smart Money. New York City-based Lepercq had been the buyer for the fund. The collapse of the deal was revealed when Kinetics made a revision to an SEC filing for the $653 million fund saying the deal was "terminated" as of June 11. Interestingly, Ryan Jacob, manager of the fund, keeps an office in the offices of Lepercq.

Sun America or a Lexus?
From The Wall Street Journal -- subscribers only
Catch the ad featuring a car coasting along a beach, past a minaret and a beautiful woman wearing flowing silken clothes and leading camels? Tempted by the lush visuals, the overblown copy ("When was the last time you felt 284 horses tugging at your soul?"). Viewers of the ad featured during the U.S. Open last weekend may have been surprised when it turned out that the ad was for ... variable annuities. The WSJ reports on Sun America's $15 to $20 million ad campaign targeted at getting people to think about retirement savings instead of luxury goods buying. The ads stem from a Phoenix Fiscal Fitness survey for Yankelovich Partners conducted earlier this year that found that 19% of people said they had reduced or diverted money from their retirement accounts, sometimes to pay for vacations or luxury goods. Sun America also told the paper that it is looking for a way to "stand out".

Investors told when to sell a fund
From The Los Angeles Times
Paul Lim uses the abrupt resignation of Roland "Nick" Whitridge from managing the Babson Value and Shadow Stock funds to ask the question of when a manager change should prompt an investor to sell a fund. Morningstar data reveals that 30% of funds experience a manager change each year. Unfortunately for investors, a Value Line study found that these funds under perform others in the year after a manager change. Lim advises investors to look for a material change in the fund, including a change in its Morningstar style box category, and a jump in the fund's turnover. Oh yes, he puts Babson Value on his "watchlist".

TIPs on top
From The Wall Street Journal -- subscribers only
Inflation-indexed bonds are boosting the returns of a some fixed income mutual funds, according to the WSJ. The paper points out that three pure play funds are available in this area, although it only names two of the funds: Pimco Real Return and American Century Inflation-Adjusted Treasury Fund. Instead, three broader bond funds, Pimco Total Return, FPA New Income Fund, and Loomis Sayles U.S. Securities Income Fund get ink.

Rohatyn's Return?
From Crains New York
Felix Rohatyn may trade in his ambassador title (he is envoy to France) for his old, comfortable, broken in role at Lazard Frères & Co. The paper says that sources at the investment bank say Rohatyn been discussing his return with Lazard Chairman Michel David-Weill. Just a week ago Steven Rattner said he is leaving his duties as head of Lazard's New York office. It may be just coincidence, but Rattner and Rohatyn have clashed in the past.

Fund mentions
  • SmartMoney takes a look at where Janus Global Technology is stashing its growing cash horde. The fund has gathered $1.25 billion in six months.

  • Worldly Investor taps Marla Brill to profile UAM Analytic Enhanced Equity Fund.

  • Everyone is talking about Forbes' list of billionaires. In case you haven't heard: Bill Gates is still on top.

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