Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mutual Funds to Try If You like Commodities

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mutual Funds to Try If You like Commodities

Article excerpt

Mutual-fund investors who are interested in commodities can choose from funds in several categories: precious and non-precious metals; oil and gas; and industrial materials and manufacturing equipment. There are also funds that focus on real estate. Remember that gold funds are notoriously volatile.

Here, with the help of Morningstar Inc., a mutual-fund research service, are several funds to consider:

Warburg, Pincus

Growth & Income Fund

800-257-5614; no load

Taking a value-driven approach, manager Anthony G. Orphanos dumped most of his interest-rate-sensitive securities last year and put 38 percent of his fund's $78 million into industrial stocks that would do well as the economy picked up.

He also invested heavily in precious-metals stocks - all of which cut the fund's yield but propelled it to a 37 percent gain in 1993. The fund is up 6.6 percent this year.

Fidelity Select

Chemicals Fund

800-544-8888; 3 percent sales charge

An expanding economy requires a vast array of chemical products, and the companies that supply them are benefiting by the increased demand. This $57 million fund, managed by Steve Wymer, has had a history of positive returns, except for 1990. It gained 12.8 percent last year and is up 12.7 percent so far this year - the best 1994 performance among 35 Fidelity Select funds.

Fidelity Select

Industrial Materials Fund

800-544-8888; 3 percent sales charge

Petroleum, chemicals and glass are among the industrial materials that have been in growing demand during the economic recovery - and this $131 million fund invests in these products and the railroads that transport them. The fund, under manager Louis Salemy, gained 21.4 percent last year and is up 8.1 percent so far this year.

Invesco Strategic

Portfolios Gold

800-525-8085; no load

Manager Daniel B. Leonard targets North American gold-mining companies with strong growth potential. …

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