The media was at it again analyzing the great fund performance record of fund manager’s Bill Miller’s Legg Mason Value Trust. They did it in all fairness (this time) by giving credit to his great 15-year performance, during which he prevailed over the S+P 500 every year.
In fact, his fund showed an average annual rate of 15.8% vs. the S+Ps 11.9%.
This year, he wasn’t able to match his past record and his fund gained only +6.7%. However, keep in mind that this doesn’t tell the whole story. Take a look at the chart below. It shows a 5-year price history of Miller’s Legg Mason Value fund:
As you can see, during the bear market of 2000 to 2003 (red arrow), this fund dropped just as much as any other, from a high of some $60 to a low of around $40, before rebounding in 2003.
So, before you run out and place your buy order, keep in mind that, no matter which equity fund you chose, they will all go down in a bear market. An appropriate exit strategy, with trailing stop loss points, is the best insurance against jeopardizing your portfolio.