Price's funds reward those who can wait

June 21, 1992|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

T. Rowe Price's mutual funds are rarely white-hot investment stars -- but there's a reason for that, the company and outside experts agree. How good T. Rowe Price is depends on how you look at the numbers and whether you want to get rich slowly or quickly.

"In order to get to the top, you've got to take the risk of being on the bottom," said James S. Riepe, T. Rowe Price managing director and president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services.

T. Rowe Price stays away from the type of risks that gets mutual funds on lists of either top performers or notable laggards.

Its best fund of 1991 scored only 77th among the 1,867 funds followed by Lipper Analytical Services Inc. That star was a growth-stock fund that invests mostly in service companies and earned a 62 percent return.

T. Rowe Price's worst-performing fund, a short-term bond fund, placed 1,643rd. But the bond market was so strong that even that fund, despite its low ranking, posted an 11.2 percent gain for the year.

"I don't think they're doing anything badly; some people are doing some things better," said A. Michael Lipper, president of Lipper Analytical. "They're certainly highly professional and well-thought-of by their peers in the industry. But they're an important force, not a driving force."

Partisans such as William Dougherty, president of Boston-based Kanon Bloch Carre & Co., say the Lipper ratings don't give T. Rowe Price the credit it deserves for keeping risks low. Kanon Bloch Carre's ratings of about 80 mutual fund families adjust investment returns for the level of risk that made them possible -- a system that penalizes the scores of high-risk takers and rewards the tortoises of the world.

In Kanon Bloch Carre's ratings, T. Rowe Price came out 7th last year and 10th over the five years ending last year, Mr. Dougherty said.

T. Rowe Price itself points to another set of risk-adjusted weightings from Morningstar Mutual Funds, a Chicago industry newsletter. Averaging results from T. Rowe Price funds together and adjusting for risk, the group comes out on top of the list of major fund companies in recent ratings and near the top in ratings from late 1991.

T. Rowe Price family of funds

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Growth in

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. assets since..1-year..5-year

Fund.. .. .. .. .. .. ..Assets..Obj. ..12/31/90.. return..return

STOCK FUNDS

Growth Stock.. .. .. .. $1,749.. .G.. .. ..$353.. .33.8%.. 76.6%

New Horizons.. .. .. .. .1,166.. AG.. .. .. 311.. .52.3.. .83.7

New Era.. .. .. .. .. .. ..721.. .G.. .. .. .15.. .14.7.. .69.2

Growth & Income.. .. .. .. 717..G&I.. .. .. 243.. .31.5.. .67.0

New America Growth.. .. .. 275.. AG.. .. .. 181.. .62.0.. 111.2

Equity Income.. .. .. .. 1,714.. EI.. .. .. 852.. .25.3.. .75.5

Capital Appreciation.. .. .283.. .G.. .. .. 142.. .21.6.. .86.9

Science & Technology.. .. .180.. AG.. .. .. 119.. .60.2.. .. ..

Small-Cap Value.. .. .. .. 160.. .G.. .. .. 134.. .34.2.. .. ..

Equity Index.. .. .. .. .. .27.. .G.. .. .. .20.. .29.2.. .. ..

Balanced.. .. .. .. .. .. ..66..BAL.. .. .. .66.. .. .. .. .. ..

Internat'l Stock.. .. .. 1,837.. .G.. .. .. 808.. .15.9.. .66.3

Internat'l Discovery.. .. .196.. AG.. .. .. .61.. .11.7.. .. ..

European Stock.. .. .. .. .136.. .G.. .. .. .38.. ..7.3.. .. ..

New Asia.. .. .. .. .. .. .216.. AG.. .. .. 205.. .19.3.. .. ..

Spectrum Growth.. .. .. .. 247*.. G.. .. .. 220.. .29.9.. .. ..

TAXABLE BOND FUNDS

Global Government.. .. .. ..58.. .I.. .. .. .60.. .11.3.. .. ..

Internat'l Bond.. .. .. .. 497.. AI.. .. .. .67.. .17.8.. .66.6

High Yield.. .. .. .. .. 1,253.. AI.. .. .. 775.. .30.9.. .39.5

GNMA.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..792.. .I.. .. .. 340.. .15.0.. .54.2

Adj. Rate U.S. Govt. .. .. 686.. CI.. .. .. 686.. .. .. .. .. ..

New Income.. .. .. .. .. 1,354.. .I.. .. .. 262.. .15.5.. .54.8

Short-Term Bond.. .. .. .. 409.. CI.. .. .. 195.. .11.2.. .47.4

U.S. Treas. Inter. .. .. ..129.. CI.. .. .. .72.. .14.8.. .. ..

U.S. Treas. Long-Term.. .. .53.. .I.. .. .. .10.. .16.3.. .. ..

Spectrum Income.. .. .. .. 237*.. I.. .. .. 204.. .19.6.. .. ..

TAX-FREE BOND FUNDS

Tax-Free High Yield.. .. ..693.. AI.. .. .. 203.. .11.7.. .47.4

Tax-Free Income.. .. .. .1,287.. CI.. .. .. 182.. .12.2.. .34.0

Tax-Free Short-Inter. .. ..357.. CI.. .. .. 130.. ..7.9.. .31.1

New York Bond.. .. .. .. .. 83.. .I.. .. .. .30.. .12.4.. .37.7

Calif. Bond.. .. .. .. .. .117.. .I.. .. .. .37.. .12.1.. .31.5

Maryland Bond.. .. .. .. ..547.. .I.. .. .. 264.. .11.2.. .. ..

New Jersey Bond.. .. .. .. .22.. .I.. .. .. .22.. .. .. .. .. ..

Virginia Bond.. .. .. .. .. 64.. .I.. .. .. .64.. .. .. .. .. ..

MONEY MARKET FUNDS

Calif. Tax-Free.. .. .. .. .64.. .S.. .. .. (19).. .3.7.. .25.0

New York Tax-Free.. .. .. ..55.. .S.. .. .. ..2.. ..3.8.. .23.9

Tax-Exempt Money.. .. .. .. 764.. S.. .. ..(223).. .3.9.. .27.0

Prime Reserve.. .. .. .. .3,900.. S.. .. ..(825).. .5.7.. .41.3

U.S. Treasury.. .. .. .. .. 600.. S.. .. .. .90.. ..5.4.. .37.6

TOTAL (in millions).. ..$23,440.. .. .. ..$6,516.. .. .. .. .. .

Objectives: G=Growth; AG=Aggressive Growth; G&I=Growth and Income; EI= Equity Income; BAL=Balanced; I=Income; AI=Aggressive Income; CI=Conservative Income. (*) not included in total. Returns for year ended 12/31/91.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.