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The first mutual fund I ever purchased was the Dodge and Cox Balanced fund. I have owned it since 1997. Dodge and Cox are value investors and the fund holds about 80-90 stocks in the portfolio in a 60/40 split with bonds. My description of the company and the funds is that they are steady and reliable.
Polen Capital, Growth Fund… after fees and taxes it’s constantly beat the S&P 500 over a decade. Only drawback is 1M min. I have been very pleased with the returns.
My largest actively managed holding is Fidelity Total Bond (FTBFX). Classified as intermediate core-plus and gold-rated by Morningstar, it invests mostly in the usual investment grade credit, but can go up to 20% in high yield and emerging markets combined. I feel like it gets a little more juice than a bond market index without too much more risk, and has below average fees.
The line between active and passive continues to blur. I have some money in very low-cost factor funds. (Such as the Vanguard Momentum (VFMO) and Vanguard Liquidity (VFLQ).) Basically, any “active” fund which is run by a computer algo (rather than a human) is preferred.
Now, there is some evidence that an active manager can do ok so long as the fees are very low. Look to Emerging Markets as an example. Some studies even show is the cost of the fund, not whether it’s active or passive, that really makes the return difference. So you could hypothetically fill your portfolio with active funds (at low cost) and still keep up well.
Most of my funds are passive and over a broad index, but I have a few active ones too. The most favorite one is Cohen & Steers Total Return Realty Fund RFI. I also own it’s leveraged cousin RQI, but I’m unsure that the increased volatility (due to the leverage) is worthwhile. Both funds have delivered the promised monthly payments so far and have beaten my passive REIT fund – VNQ – since the time of purchase.