By Scott Ronalds

Our Small-Cap Fund declined 14.0% over the past 12 months (ending March 31st). Clearly, a poor return. Rather than hiding from it, however, we’re putting our weakest number in lights.

Most fund companies trumpet their top performing funds, often with a focus on near-term results. It’s an easy sale. Everybody loves a winner.

It’s also poor investing practice. It encourages performance chasing and short-term thinking. One-year returns say nothing about a manager’s ability to deliver results over time. Investors need to focus instead on a manager’s cumulative results over a full market cycle (which should include severe down and up periods) and longer.

All funds and managers go through short-term periods of weak performance, without exception. If you can identify a good manager, the best time to hitch your wagon to him is often when he’s gone through a tough stretch.

We believe we’ve got an excellent small-cap manager in Wil Wutherich. He has a disciplined process and strong long-term track record. And he’s got a lousy one-year return.

Management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual total returns including changes in unit value and reinvestment of all distributions and do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any securityholder that would have reduced returns.