Betro | Mileszko & Company Announces 2008 Vanguard And Fidelity Fund Awards

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Funds investing in U.S. Treasury Bonds dominate the top of the 2008 annual rankings

When we concluded our analysis, there were a few surprises with this year's award winners and losers

Independent money manager Betro | Mileszko & Company has announced the 2008 Vanguard and Fidelity fund awards. The awards are designed to recognize funds and managers for their outstanding achievement and contribution to shareholder value during the prior calendar year.

In the Domestic Stock category, the Fidelity Small Cap Retirement and Vanguard Dividend Growth funds received top honors despite negative returns for the year. The award for best Domestic Sector fund went to Fidelity Select Biotechnology and Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF. Fidelity Spartan Long-Term Treasury Index fund and Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury ETF received awards for the best funds in the Domestic Bond category. And the International Equity category awards went to the Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies fund and Vanguard Pacific Stock ETF.

"2008 proved to be an extremely difficult year for fund managers as cash and treasuries were among the few asset classes producing positive returns," said John Mileszko, Chief Investment Officer. "Overall, we were disappointed with actively managed funds including those run by many of Fidelity and Vanguard's top-ranked managers. As investors in these funds, we pay for expertise and risk management during difficult markets, and we got very little of either last year. Simply buying and holding stock funds was not an effective strategy. To protect client assets and perform well on a relative basis we needed to proactively reallocate portfolios to other asset classes," said Mileszko.

To determine which funds are most deserving of the annual award, Betro | Mileszko & Company analyzes each of the Fidelity and Vanguard fund offerings in various categories and compares them on a number of quantitative and qualitative metrics including absolute and relative returns, and level of risk. A score for each fund is then calculated based on a proprietary formula that takes into consideration the key fund characteristics the firm believes are most important in adding value to shareholders. Certain funds are excluded from the analysis. For example, if a fund manager change has occurred during the year, the fund becomes ineligible.

"When we concluded our analysis, there were a few surprises with this year's award winners and losers," said Mileszko. "Vanguard's Extended Duration Treasury ETF gained 55%, an incredible advance for a fund holding U.S. Treasury securities." Among the worst ranked funds were Fidelity Magellan which lost nearly 50% and Vanguard Capital Value, down 49%. "We realize one year is short period of time to evaluate a fund's performance, but this level of underperformance is simply unacceptable given the amount of resources these managers have at their disposal," said Mileszko.

Betro | Mileszko & Company is an independent money manager specializing in Vanguard and Fidelity funds. The firm has offices in Foxboro, Massachusetts but can serve clients in any state. For further information and all media inquiries, please contact John Mileszko at (508) 698-4949.

A complete version of the 2008 Fund Award report can be found at

Disclaimer: This press release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a full description of investment services or performance. It is not a solicitation or offer to sell securities or investment services. Any reference to performance should not be interpreted to state or imply past performance indicates future results. Betro | Mileszko & Company is a privately owned fee-based Registered Investment Advisor and is not affiliated with Fidelity Investments or the Vanguard Group. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2009 Betro|Mileszko & Company, LLC


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John Mileszko

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