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Dec. 20, 2007, 8:58 a.m. EST

Give managers room to maneuver so they can show their smarts

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Bridget Hughes, mutual fund analyst at Morningstar, says she is tired of the "plug-and-play mutual fund," where the manager is so tightly bound by rules and investment objectives that they have little chance to show their talent. In a radio interview, Hughes said that she believes investors should look at funds where the manager has the flexibility to use their varied skills, and where the manager has proven that they can deliver over time, but she also warned against situations where even proven managers are working in turmoil. For proof, she put a qualified "sell" on long-time Morningstar favorite First Eagle Overseas and its manager Jean-Marie Eveillard.

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