Appleseed Fund Marks Five-Year Anniversary as the #1 Ranked Mid-Cap Value Fund

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 12/13/11 -- The Appleseed Fund (NASDAQ: APPLX), a "go-anywhere" value fund, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its launch on December 8, 2006. The Fund manager's goal is to generate market-beating returns by making prudent, disciplined, and sustainable investments. Since its launch, not only has the Appleseed Fund outperformed the S&P 500 Index, it has also outperformed all 282 of its peer group funds in Morningstar's Mid-Cap Value category.

Highlights over the past few years include:

  • Appleseed Fund is the top ranked mutual fund by performance for the five years ended December 8, 2011 in Morningstar's Mid-Cap Value category among 282 funds through December 8, 2011. Appleseed's performance also ranks in the top 15% of its category over the last 3-years, over the last year, and year-to-date in 2011.

  • In the five years ending December 8, 2011, the Appleseed Fund generated an annualized total return of 6.1%, exceeding the -0.5% annualized total return of the S&P 500 during the same period.

  • The Appleseed Fund earned Morningstar's five-star rating for its ability to generate strong risk-adjusted returns.

  • The Fund was recently named as one of the Ten Mutual Funds to Own in 2012 by TheStreet.com and is currently rated as the best mutual fund in the Mid-Cap Value category by U.S. News & World Report.

  • Assets of the Appleseed Fund have increased steadily since inception and recently surpassed the $200 million mark.

"We started the Appleseed Fund because of our strong conviction that we could achieve long-term market out-performance by investing in attractively valued, high quality companies," explained Ron Strauss, co-portfolio manager. "We have continuously pursued the Fund's goals of identifying absolute value with relentless discipline."

Billy Pekin, co-portfolio manager, added: "During the past five years, our investment strategy has worked well during one of the most challenging market environments in U.S. history. During that period, we have looked to invest in significantly undervalued companies while also focusing considerable effort on risk management, inflation protection, and capital preservation. In our opinion, our disciplined approach has helped our Fund generate far better returns than our benchmark, the S&P 500 Index, while also taking on far less risk."

As a go-anywhere value fund, Appleseed invests in a focused portfolio of undervalued companies across a wide range of market capitalizations, industry sectors, and geographies.

About the Appleseed Fund

  • The Fund is managed by Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management, a Chicago-based value-oriented investment firm with over $800 million of assets under management.
  • The Fund offers two share class options: APPLX Investor Class and APPIX Institutional Class.
  • More information can be found on the Appleseed Fund website, www.appleseedfund.com.

Required Disclosures:

  • Through 9/30/11, the Appleseed Fund generated a one-year return of 0.7%, a three-year average return of 11.3%, and an annualized return of 5.6% since the Fund's inception on 12/8/06. During that same period, the S&P 500 Index generated a one-year return of 1.1%, a three-year average return of 1.2%, and an annualized return of -2.4% since the Fund's inception. The Fund's past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance of the Fund may be lower or higher than the performance quoted. The gross expense ratios of Investor and Institutional shares of the Fund are 1.64% and 1.39%, respectively, and the net expense ratios after contractual fee waivers are 1.31% and 1.06%, respectively. The advisor has contracted with the Fund to waive fees to maintain a 1.24% expense ratio for the Investor shares and a 0.99% expense ratio for the Institutional shares (excluding indirect expenses) through February 29, 2012.
  • Appleseed Fund was ranked #1 out of 282 mid-cap value companies by Morningstar during the five year period through December 13, 2011 based on total returns. Appleseed was ranked #18 out of 338 mid-cap value companies by Morningstar during the three year period through December 13, 2011 based on total returns.
  • You should carefully consider the investment objectives, potential risks, management fees, and charges and expenses of the Fund before investing. The Fund's prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund, and should be read carefully before investing. You may obtain a current copy of the Fund's prospectus or performance data current to the most recent month end by calling 1-800-470-1029. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
  • For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating™ based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund's monthly performance (including the effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of funds in each category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages.) The Overall Morningstar Rating™ for a fund is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its 3-year and overall Morningstar Rating metrics. The Fund had a five-star rating overall and over 3-years out of 337 mid-cap value funds.
  • There is no guarantee that this or any investment strategy will succeed; the strategy is not an indicator of future performance; and investment results may vary. Distributed by Unified Financial Securities, Inc., 2960 North Meridian Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46208. (Member FINRA)

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Appleseed Contact:
Christen Farrey
Appleseed Fund
312-896-9660

Media Contact:
Cindy Martin
Capital Insight Partners
847-864-9540