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Kip 25

Playing Defense at Vanguard Selected Value

Manager Jim Barrow is protecting his fund with shares of companies that will hold up regardless of economic conditions.

Jim Barrow is investing defensively at Vanguard Selected Value (symbol VASVX). "The consumer is under a great deal of pressure," says Barrow, whose firm runs about three-fourths of the fund's assets. He expects the consumer-related companies in his portion of the fund, such as discounter Family Dollar Stores and tobacco firms Lorillard and Reynolds American, to hold up regardless of economic conditions.

Barrow has also warmed to health-care service companies, such as Coventry Health Care and Omnicare, because of their solid balance sheets and strong cash flows. He notes that Selected Value has only 21% of its assets in financial stocks, compared with 29% in the Russell Midcap Value Index, the fund's benchmark.

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