Janus Hot, Giftrust Not
By Penelope Wang and Maggie Topkis

(MONEY Magazine) – IMPROVING Let's face it: Janus has to make good numbers in this market. The only thing worse than seeing your fund free-fall in a bear market, as so many Janus funds did, is watching it miss the upturn too. So far, so good. For the year ended Feb. 20, flagship Janus Fund, for example, gained 37.2%, beating 63% of large-growth funds. But there's still the matter of the firm's involvement in the fund-timing scandal. Says Morningstar analyst Dan McNeela: "We're not at the point where investors should consider returning."

BEGGING In February, American Century Giftrust waived its fee through July. The fund, which locks investors in for 18 years, made its name with a high-risk earnings momentum strategy--and took a beating for it in 2000 and 2001. But in frothy 2003, Giftrust lagged the S&P 500 by nearly nine percentage points. Ouch. --PENELOPE WANG AND MAGGIE TOPKIS