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The Best and Worst Mutual Funds at 2013’s Midway Point

A look at some of the year's most notable winners and losers

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Winner: Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies Fund

Fidelity mutual funds 401(k)YTD Return: +29%

Thanks to the highly aggressive monetary and fiscal policies in Japan — led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — the Nikkei has hit a big hill on its roller-coaster ride. Even despite a recent selloff, the index has returned a sizzling 27%.

But small-cap Japanese stocks did the Nikkei one better. Or two, if we’re talking about percentage points.

The Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies Fund (FJSCX) fund has returned 29% year-to-date — and that success hasn’t wholly just been about riding a crazy bull market. Portfolio Manager Nick Price has racked up a pretty good record in the past three years, posting an average annual return of nearly 15%.

Price focuses on growth companies that are selling at attractive valuations, but also have a catalyst such as a restructuring or implementing of new technologies. That has resulted in top holdings like price-comparison site Kakaku and childcare/nursing product manufacturer Pigeon Corp.

FJSCX is a no-load fund that charges 1.05% in expenses.

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