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Mutual Fund Commentary

When investors have the willingness to take short term positions and the ability to bear a certain degree of risk, small-cap funds could be the correct choice. These funds generate significant demand driven sales during a market upswing, which lead to an increase in their prices. Smaller firms also look to continuously reinvest their profits back into their business. This reassures shareholders of superior performance and higher profit potential from such companies. Small Cap funds therefore make excellent additions to a well-diversified portfolio.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated small-cap mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all small-cap funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Schneider Small Cap Value (SCMVX - MF report) seeks capital growth over the long term. The majority of its assets are invested in small cap stocks which are undervalued. A maximum of 20% of its assets may be invested in foreign securities as well as in American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). This small-cap mutual fund has a one year annualized return of 35.35%.

Arnold C. Schneider III is the fund manager and he has managed this small-cap mutual fund since 1998.

Keeley Small Cap Value A (KSCVX - MF report) invests heavily in common stocks of small cap firms. The market capitalization of these companies must be equal to or lower than $3.5 billion. However, it may invest in companies with higher market capitalizations, if the fund meets other criteria. The small-cap mutual fund has a one year annualized return of 23.82%.

As of November 2012, this small-cap mutual fund held 131 issues, with 1.33% of its total assets invested in LB Foster Company Class A.

Invesco SmallCapValue A (VSCAX - MF report) seeks capital growth. The fund invests a large share of its assets in small cap companies. The market capitalization of these companies must be lower than the largest company included in the Russell 2000 Index. A maximum of 25% of its assets may be invested in foreign securities. This small-cap mutual fund has a one year annualized return of 22.53%.

The small-cap mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.03% compared to a category average of 1.40%.

Dean Small Cap Value (DASCX - MF report) invests heavily in the equity securities of domestic and foreign small cap firms. The fund may also invest some of its assets in medium and large cap companies. This small-cap mutual fund has a one year annualized return of 17.33%.

Steven D. Roth is the fund manager and he has managed this small-cap mutual fund since 2008.

Westcore Small-Cap Value (WTSVX - MF report) seeks capital growth over the long term. It invests heavily in small cap companies. The companies it invests in must have market capitalizations within the range of the Russell 2000 index. This small-cap mutual fund has a one year annualized return of 9.65%.

The small-cap mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.30% compared to a category average of 1.40%.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all small-cap mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank.

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