Fidelity Investments is having one of its weakest first five months in recent history. Only 39% of Fidelity's equity funds are in the company of the top half of their peers, whereas 64% were a year ago, according to Morningstar.

While it is true that many fund companies have taken a slight beating in the past few months, other large fund companies are still performing relatively well, according to the report in The Wall Street Journal. For example, at American Funds, 75% are in the top half of their peer groups, and at Vanguard Group, 63% are in the top half as well.

"The reason they looked so good last year is the same reason that this year they don't-Fidelity leans toward growth," said Christopher Davis, a Morningstar analyst.

A winning strategy from 2007 does not guarantee success in 2008, especially with the recent market turmoil.

Walter Donovan, president of Fidelity's equity division, defending his firm, argues that five months is much too short a time to judge performance and stresses that a much "fairer" picture is a 12 month stretch through May 31. In that timeframe, Fidelity equity funds beat about 65% of their peers. "We would say those are better measurements," Donovan said.

(c) 2008 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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