Chuck Jaffe at highlights the rough road star fund managers who go out on their own find themselves on. The story was prompted by the launch of a new mutual fund by David Winters, former manager at Franklin Resources’ Mutual Series of funds. Winters’ new fund uses a strategy more often used in hedge funds. While Winters’ track record speaks to a certain level of skill, Jaffe believes investors should take a good, hard look before investing:

From the time Winters started managing Mutual Discovery in February 2000 until he left in April, the fund earned a 9.5% annualized return while his average peer posted an annualized loss of 0.7%, according to Morningstar Inc.

That makes the Wintergreen fund mighty interesting.

Not only can you dance with a star but also you get in on the ground floor; studies have shown that new issues tend to have some pop, in part because the manager benefits from the flexibility of running a small asset pool.

Still, a good investment decision on a star’s new fund requires going beneath the surface.

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