If, in your life, you have owned the White Oak Growth Stock, Weitz Hickory or Fidelity Aggressive Growth funds, you understand the teeter tottering feelings of elation and dismay. As MorningstarÂ’s director of fund analysis Kunal Kapoor said in a recent Fund Spy column, figuring out whether any of these funds will return to prominence takes a lot more than looking at just past performance.

White Oak Growth, advised by Oak Associates , gained beautifully through the 1990s thanks to a trunk full of high-priced stocks. But the bear market saw White Oak as a barrel full of honey, and chewed on it like a tobacco-addicted baseball player. Despite a comeback in 2003, Kapoor said White Oak Growth "is just too risky" and "tough to fit into a portfolio."

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