The Baltimore Sun

Legg Mason Inc.'s Bill Miller, the Baltimore-based mutual fund money manager known for his record benchmark-beating performance, lagged behind the market for the third straight year in 2008.

Miller's $4.3 billion Legg Mason Value Trust lost 55.05 percent in 2008, becoming the sixth-worst performing funds among 800 large-cap growth fund peers, according to preliminary data from Lipper Inc. released yesterday.

The fund had beaten the Standard & Poor's 500 index for 15 consecutive years until the record was snapped in 2006. The Value Trust was hurt by Miller's holdings in the financial sector.

Miller's Legg Mason Opportunity Trust Fund declined 65.49 percent last year, the worst return among 505 mid-cap growth funds, according to Lipper.

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