Twenty years ago, cell phones were huge and didn't do much more than ring. Today, they're wafer-thin and provide users with choices of ringtones, photo and text messaging options and more. Just as the size of our phones has changed, so has the telecommunications industry.
Henry Ellenbogen and Robert Bartolo manage the T. Rowe Price Media and Telecommunications Fund (PRMTX). Though this sector fund typically keeps about 80 stocks in its portfolio, the top 10 holdings made up 50 percent of the fund in mid-August. The wireless tower and billboard industries topped the managers' favorites list at that time.
Need a reason to invest in telecommunications and media? Think primitively. "If you think about our roots and why we communicate and entertain, that probably goes back to the cavemen," Ellenbogen says. "Human beings want to communicate socially and also to organize for work."
Add some economic pizzazz to our human condition, and it's even more appealing: According to Ellenbogen, for every 10 percent of an emerging market that gets wireless penetration, its GDP goes up 0.5 percent structurally.
This fund is not for single-fund investors--no sector funds are. If you believe people can't get enough of communications and media, past performance makes this fund worth a look.
Dian Vujovich is an author, syndicated columnist and publisher of fund investing sitewww.fundfreebies.com.