The $4.2 billion Janus Worldwide Fund has been in a prolonged slump for the past six years, notes MarketWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe. The fund lost 17% in 2000, 23% in 2001 and 26% in 2002. Although it rebounded with returns of 24% the following year, that performance was in the bottom 7% of its peer group. The fund hasn’t done any better the past two years, as it remained mired in the bottom 10% of its peer group. It’s no wonder, then, that Janus has changed the fund’s portfolio manager three times in the past three years. Janus Worldwide’s original manager, Helen Young Hayes, retired in 2003 and was replaced by her assistant, Lawrence Chang, who in turn was replaced the following year by Jason Yee. Yee, known to be a contrarian who likes value stocks, had acknowledged that his early bet to sell energy and emerging markets stocks was a wrong call. But he says he believes he can do better, and, in fact, has half of his own net worth invested in Janus Worldwide. “My strengths come from trying to consistently deliver good absolute returns over time,” Yee said, “and I know that when emerging markets are picking up 30% annualized, we’ll be picking up half of that and some people will say we look bad. I’m not going to change my style because, as markets change, we should do better relative to other funds. I’m trying to run the fund in a way that will make investors happy with the absolute returns they get in all conditions.”

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