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IN BRIEF / MUTUAL FUNDS

Fund Manager Beats S&P for 15th Year in Row

December 31, 2005|From Bloomberg News

Bill Miller, manager of the Legg Mason Value Trust, beat the Standard & Poor's 500 index for a record 15th consecutive year, winning by the thinnest margin since 1994.

The $19.5-billion mutual fund returned 5.3% this year, topping the 4.9% advance of the S&P 500, a common benchmark for investment performance. The results include price increases and reinvested dividends.

Miller might have seen his streak broken had it not been for an investment in Internet search firm Google Inc., whose stock more than doubled this year.

Health insurers UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc., which account for 10% of the fund's assets, each jumped more than 40% this year. Those holdings helped compensate for Miller's decision to avoid energy shares, the year's best performers.

Miller, 55, has managed the fund since its inception in 1982. The fund's assets have swelled 20% since June, driven mainly by net investor inflows.

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