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World Class

Diversity pays off for this global fund.

When Bernie Horn shops for companies to invest in, he doesn't just follow one investment strategy-he combines a couple of them. As a result, he's got fund performance numbers to crow about.

The Polaris Global Value Fund (PGVFX), managed by Horn, has enjoyed a performance ride for the past few years. As of October 22, 2003, the fund was up 35.3 percent year-to-date. Compare that with the performance of Lipper's average global fund, ahead about 24 percent for 2003, and you get an idea this fund is doing something right.

Horn uses a combination of high-tech quantitative analysis and old-fashioned bottom-up stock picking, combined with his own way of calculating value, to come up with the stocks in the fund's portfolio. A fan of diversification, he says, "We have at least 15 different industries and 15 countries [represented] in the portfolio at any given time."

Another plus for the fund is its low turnover rate: 36 percent, according to Morningstar. Horn doesn't mind holding on to a stock if he thinks it's going to pop. In 2003, he was rewarded for investing in British home-building stocks, which he began doing in 1998.

But, like everything else on Wall Street, the performance of global funds runs in cycles. And the fund's expense ratio is a little high-1.75 percent per year. That's because this no-load fund currently has only $27 million in assets.

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Dian Vujovich is an author, syndicated columnist and publisher of fund investing site www.fundfreebies.com.

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This article was originally published in the January 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: World Class.

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