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Our Picks

Funds in Positive Territory in 2008

This screen points to funds that have done well over the long haul and haven't been bleeding red lately.

The Dow Industrials Average posted its worst weekly slide in history during the week of Oct. 6, 2008, and the broad U.S. market has lost more than a third of its value for the year-to-date period. Even broad bond indexes are in the red. That's a very grim short-term report, and while most all mutual funds are down by significant amounts this year, a few have managed to stay above water.

To find mutual funds that have eked out a gain so far this year, we used the  Premium Screener, but we add a few extra criteria to drill down to funds that Morningstar analysts recommend, in part because they've also delivered over the long-term. To start, select the Distinct Portfolios Only option, which limits the results to a single share class per fund. In this case, we'd also eliminate the bear-market fund category, as these funds are meant to perform well in down markets. As for performance, we selected year-to-date returns greater than 0%. (Year-to-date performance is updated daily.) And to find some long-term winners, we selected those with 10-year trailing return category rankings in the top third, as well as managers that have been at the helm for at least 10 years. And finally, we required that the funds be open to new investments of $25,000 or less and that they sport below-average price tags.

You'll note that no stock funds made the cut--even without the long-term performance criteria. That's not a surprise given that on average, domestic stock, international stock and balanced categories are down by double-digit figures for the year to date.