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GuideStone Funds earn ’09 Lipper rankings

DALLAS (BP)–Eight of 11 GuideStone Select Funds in its GS4 class exceeded their respective mutual fund peer universe median as measured by Lipper Inc. over the one-year period ending Dec. 31. The news was even better for GuideStone Select Funds in its GS2 class, with seven of nine funds exceeding their peer universe median over a one-year period, and six of nine beating their peer universe median over three- and five-year periods ending Dec. 31.

Lipper Inc., a Reuters Company, is a nationally recognized organization that compares the performance of mutual funds having similar investment objectives.

Additionally, GuideStone Fund’s Extended-Duration Bond Fund was ranked No. 1 among 134 in its GS2 class and No. 2 among 134 in its GS4 class for the five-year period ending Dec. 31, according to Lipper. The Extended-Duration Bond Fund in its GS2 class ranked No. 2 of 145 in its three-year period and 15 of 154 in the one-year period. In the GS4 class, it ranked 3rd of 145 over the three-year period and 16 of 154 in the one-year period.

“This is indeed good news for GuideStone Funds and its investors,” said John R. Jones, chief operating officer for GuideStone Financial Resources. “To come through the volatile period we just experienced and be recognized by Lipper’s rankings is quite an accomplishment. The results we’re seeing reported by Lipper indicate that our consistent investment philosophy and the manager-of-managers approach can lead to industry-recognized performance.”

The Lipper results come as markets rebound from a volatile time period from 2008 through early 2009.

“Investors who remained committed to their long-term investment plan were rewarded with strong equity returns during 2009,” Jones said. “For example, GuideStone participants saw average account balances grow over 40 percent from the low point of the market on March 9 through the end of December.”

Investors who maintained their asset allocation and continued making regular contributions during the recent downturn were able to capitalize during market low points by purchasing shares at decreased prices, Jones said. Consequently, as the market conditions improved and the shares increased in value, investors witnessed substantial growth in their accounts. According to GuideStone, this investment technique, commonly referred to as “dollar-cost averaging,” also can be good way for those who have been on the sidelines to get back into the market. Dollar-cost averaging, however, does not assure a profit or protect an investor against a loss in a declining market. Because such plans involve making continuous investments regardless of fluctuating share prices, an investor should consider his/her financial ability to continue making purchases through periods of low prices.

The Lipper comparison is made across registered mutual funds, ranking the funds with similar objectives according to total returns. Lipper rankings are subject to change monthly and past rankings are no guarantee of future results.
Curtis D. Sharp is executive officer for denominational and public relations services at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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