The manager of the famous but fledgling Fidelity Magellan fund is blaming himself for some of the fund's troubles, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Calling 2003 "a tough year for me," the manager, Robert Stansky, presented his partial mea culpa the same day his company released its annual shareholder report. For more than 10 years, the Magellan Fund was the nation's largest, but since 2000, it has steadily declined and now stands at No. 6, behind some of the offerings of Vanguard, PIMCO and American Funds.

"The truth is, I made some mistakes in stock picking and sector selection," Stansky said, perhaps referring to an ill-advised buy of Viacom stock.

Since he took over the fund from Peter Lynch, Stansky said it had grown so much that investing in a few smaller, up-and-coming companies does little to help. Indeed, the fund stands at $65 billion.

Morningstar Analyst Christopher Traulsen said, "At some point, Stansky is going to be under some pressure here to deliver the goods." Since 1996, the S&P 500, the fund’s benchmark, has grown 85%, but Magellan has returned just 71%, according to Morningstar.

Perhaps because of the strong moves Stansky has made in the past, Fidelity Investments President Abigail Johnson said she still has faith in him, calling him "a very talented and committed investment professional" that "always has had my complete confidence and support, [as well as] that of the entire Fidelity organization.


The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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