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Morningstar's Mid-Cap Picks

March 24, 2000|JOSH FRIEDMAN

Big names may be grabbing most of the headlines, but medium-sized stocks continue to power ahead as the Standard & Poor's mid-cap 400 index rose to another record Thursday. Individual mid-cap stocks can be more volatile than blue chips, of course, so investors interested in the sector might want to consider spreading their bets through a mutual fund. The Times asked Morningstar Inc. equity fund analyst Russel Kinnel for his top picks among mid-cap growth funds.

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YTD 1-year 8 00 Fund name return return number Janus Enterprise +22.8% +145.5% 525-8983

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Comment: "This is a pretty bold fund because it's relatively concentrated," Kinnel said. "It's going to be kind of volatile." The fund, a de facto mid-cap that's not strictly limited to medium-sized stocks, might be closed to new investors this summer, he said. But to its advantage, "it hasn't yet been overwhelmed with cash like many Janus funds have."

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YTD 1-year 800 Fund name return return number MAS Mid Cap Growth +20.5 +95.3 354-8185

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Comment: "This is my personal favorite [in the sector]," Kinnel said. "It's an institutional fund, but it can be bought by individuals through mutual fund supermarkets. It has a very experienced manager and much lower expenses than the average mid-cap growth fund."

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YTD 1-year 800 Fund name return return number T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Growth +8.9 +39.5 638-5660

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Comment: "This is a tamer take--a throwback that goes for growth at a reasonable price rather than betting on go-go Net stocks," Kinnel said. "It should be more stable than others, and when you're buying into a rally, it's not a bad idea to keep some risk factors in mind." Sources: Morningstar, Bloomberg News

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