Unheralded funds gain attention in this morning's WSJ Fund Track column
. Gissen Encompass Fund
, Roge Partners
and Litman/Gregory Masters' Select
are each profiled in the paper, which turns it attention to financial advisors that take their skills across the boundary to the mutual fund world. While the article states that a financial advisor opening a mutual fund is an uncommon move, these funds do make up a significant minority of the 630 active fund advisors currently tracked by the MFWire.com
The paper points to "high cost, complexity and time involved," as being key reasons few financial advisors open their own mutual fund.
Malcolm H. Gissen & Associates is a San Francisco RIA that manages about $250 million in assets, including $8 million in its Encompass Fund. That AUM figure is not enough to make the fund profitable, though Malcolm Gissen tells the paper the fund is "break-even." The fund has been whipsawed by the recent market, ranking in the top one percent of funds in its category last year after losing 62 percent and ranking in the bottom one percent in 2008.
R.W. Roge & Co is a Bohemia, New York-based RIA run by Ron Roge. He uses the fund for friends and family of current clients who do not yet have the assets to use the firm's wealth management services. Roge Partners
has $11 million in AIM (Roge manages a total of $210 million). So far this year the fund is in the top two percent of its Morningstar peer group.
Orinda, California-based Litman/Gregory Asset Management LLC, has by far the biggest name of the three fund firms. It also has the most success, managing five funds with $1.9 billion in AUM. Litman/Gregory is also rare in the RIA world by basing its business strategy around the use of subadvisors.
Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief
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