Funds Hard Hit in 2000 on the Mend in 2001

February 2, 2001 ( - Fund categories that were hit hardest last year made a comeback in January, offering some hope for those first quarter statements.

Telecommunications, emerging markets, Pacific ex-Japan, and science & technology funds, all of which lost more than 30% on average in 2000, were last month’s best performers, with gains of 14.3%, 11.7%, and 9.4% respectively, according to Lipper.

The second-best performing fund objective, Latin America, was up 12.7%, reversing a 16.5% annual loss last year.

Month-to-date, the NASDAQ is up 12.23%, the Russell 2000 registered a gain of 5.13%, the S&P 500 gained 3.46%, the Wilshire 5000 3.74% and the Dow closed 0.93% higher than it ended December.

Read ’em And Weep

Individually, there’s an interesting mix of mutual funds with tiny asset bases that floated to the top in January.

Despite its name, top performer $500,000 Apex Mid Cap Growth is considered a small-cap value fund by Morningstar and a small-cap core fund by Lipper.

The fund is up 59.3% for the month, but is still short of last year’s 75.8% loss.

And speaking of costly funds, you’d be hard pressed to find one more expensive than Frontier Equity, according to CBSMarketWatch. This $400,000 fund sports a front-end load of 8% – and a whopping expense ratio of 28.9%.

Did investors get what they paid for? Hardly. The fund lost 51.5% last year.