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Technology Fund Starts on the Ground Floor

TEFQX goes after high-tech companies with strong growth potential


The Firsthand Technology Opportunities Investor Class Fund (MUFT:TEFQX) is an IRA fund that invests in high-tech companies in industries and markets that advisers believe hold the most growth potential within the technology sector. Because the fund focuses on emerging opportunities, it tends to seek out young companies, some of which may be acquisition targets or in foreign markets.

Here are the specifics for the Firsthand Technology Opportunities Investor Class Fund for today’s mutual fund spotlight:

Investing Strategy: The fund may invest in technology companies of any size and in any market. Currently, 83% of the fund’s assets are in stocks. The remaining assets are invested in other securities.

Expense Ratio: The fund has a 1.85 expense ratio and no transaction fee, making it expensive. But it currently is the only fund in the technology sector category with a Morningstar rating of five stars.

Top 5 Holdings: The top stocks in the Firsthand Technology Opportunities Investor Class Fund include new Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) subsidiary McAfee Inc., a technology products and services provider at 3.80%, Chinese language internet search provider Baidu Inc. ADR (NASDAQ:BIDU) at 3.73%,  Chinese integrated human resource services 51job, Inc. ADR (NASDAQ:JOBS) at 3.46% , electronics payment provider Verifone Systems, Inc. (NYSE:PAY) at 3.16%, and digital technologies service provider Dg Fastchannel, Inc. (NASDAQ:DGIT) at 3.05%.

Returns: The Firsthand Technology Opportunities Investor Class Fund’s 12-month return of about 29% was slightly below the Nasdaq’s 31% return over the same period. Its five-year return of about 101% is more than double the Nasdaq’s approximate 41% return over the same period.

Other Fund Statistics

  • Total Assets: $59.1 million (as of 7/20/11)
  • Minimum Investment: $2,500
  • Fund manager: Kevin Landis and Han Lee
  • Manager’s Tenure: Since September 1999 and July 2009, respectively

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