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Value Trend's golf fund tees off


The first no-load golf mutual fund teed off on January 4.

The Value Trend Links Fund, aimed at appealing to the high net worth retail investor, will invest in some 20 to 30 stocks associated with the golfing industry and sponsorships of major golfing events. The fund may also invest in golf-related REITs. Even a website exclusively dedicated to the fund is now operating at www.golfmutualfund.com.

The fund has been created because of Jeff Provence's love of golf.

Provence, who formerly ran a computer business, is co-manager and co-founder of the fund's adviser, Value Trend Capital Management in San Diego, Cal. Provence teamed up with his father, Ross Provence, an estate planning attorney. Father and son serve as the portfolio management team for both the Value Trend Links Fund and its new sister fund, the Value Trend Large Cap Fund. A third fund offering, the Value Trend Worldwide Fund has also been registered but has not yet been launched.Value Trend is a registered investment adviser that follows a value investing discipline.

The Provences will pare down the list of purchases from the universe of some 100 to 120 golf-related stocks they have identified. Companies as diverse as Gateway computer and Daimler Chrysler would qualify for inclusion because they are tournament supporters. But Jeff Provence said the he and his father will not put every stock with golf ties in the portfolio.

"The fundamentals have to make sense," he said. The fund's minimum initial investment is $1,000, with a $250 minimum for IRAs.

The board of directors is also composed of golf fans. Board members include Thomas Addis III, who served as president of the Professional Golfers Association of America from 1995 to 1996.

Value Trend also manages $10 million for a few non-profit organizations, retirement plans and wealthy clients. Its money management capability grew out of the elder Provence's clients' estate planning needs. Neither Provences have experience managing a mutual fund.

Nevertheless, they have ambitious plans to build the funds. Jeff Provence hopes to have $25 million in the funds by next year, including $5 million in the Value Trend Links Fund.

The funds are currently available through the retail fund supermarkets of Ameritrade, Jack White, Accutrade and DLJ Direct. In addition to selling direct to investors, the co-managers hope to sell through investment advisers and financial planners looking for a novel fund for clients.