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Across My Desk

Ever wonder which web sites best meet their shareholders needs? Well, wonder no longer. One industry source says they've found that best.

DALBAR, a Boston-based financial services industry research firm, evaluated over 200 mutual funds web sites and came up with six that provide their customers with the best online service.

The research, done on a quarterly basis, revealed that the big winners in the last quarter of 2004 were: Fidelity; Lincoln Financial; Strong; Franklin Templeton; Vanguard; and AIM Investments.

Sites that had improved include Putnam and MFS.

The Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX) has lost some of its luster. Once the largest fund around (in assets), Magellan's performance has lagged over the past few years. As a result, assets have poured out instead of in.

With a bias toward growth stocks--- in an investment arena that has rewarded small-cap and value stocks over the past few years--- Magellan's performance has lagged its peers in four of the past five years, trailed the S&P 500 Index by 3 percent in 2003 and 2004 and lost 27 percent of its net assets since 1999, say the pros at Morningstar.

But don't count the fund down and out. Large-cap companies will come back in vogue again. And when they do, who knows Magellan could be back on top---again.

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