Standard & Poor’s said today that some of the newest mutual funds in the industry outperformed their older counterparts by nearly 2%.

The research firm said one-year-old funds posted declines of 9.8% in 2001 compared to 11.9% for the entire S&P 500 index. The reason, analysts say, is that relatively few of the younger funds were growth-oriented, an investment style that fared poorly during last year’s bear market.

Of the 71 funds that were a year old at the end of last year, only 20 were growth offerings. By comparison, more than three-quarters of one-year-old funds were growth-oriented in 2000.

Value portfolios certainly helped last year’s new offerings beat the index, S&P’s said. Three of the top five one-year-old funds were value oriented, according to researchers.

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