I think the best value-oriented mutual funds are just as good as, if not better, than many of the long-only hedge funds out there. The main difference being that the value mutual funds have lower fees. For instance, the Heartland Value fund, listed below, is up 25% YTD and over 17% per year with somewhat low volatility. The fees: 1.17% all in versus the 2% management fee and 20% performance fee charged by many hedge funds.

The good thing about piggybacking these guys is that all of the funds listed below tend to be long-term holders. The believe in the value prospects of the companies they own and hold those companies until their intrinsice value is passed by the stock price. We update each fund with all of their filings. One way to track the funds listed below is to "bookmark" them by rating them as a 4 star portfolio using the Stockpickr ranking system. Then, everytime they update their positions and we update their holdings here, you will get an email informing you of the change. Here are the funds:

Heartland Value Fund: Up 17.3% annualized in the past 5 years and up over 25% so far YTD in 2006. William Nasgovitz has managed the fund since 1984.

Royce Microcap Fund: Probably my favorite mutual fund to follow. Run by long-time Royce manager, Whitney George, who runs several of the Royce value-oriented funds. 5 year return is 16.61% annualized and this year so far they are up 20%.

Al Frank Fund: I subscribe to John Buckingham's (the manager of the Al Frank Fund) newsletter, the Prudent Speculator. He tends to focus on stocks trading at or near cash with high cash flows.

Artisan Midcap Value. Up 18.34% per year over the past 5 years and has a 5* Morningstar rating.

Fairholme: What impresses me about Fairholme is not that its up 16.7% YTD or that its 5 year return is 16.25% per year but that in 2002 it was only down 1.6%. For a long only product that tends to focus on midcap stocks (which was down 25% in 2002) that strikes me as incredible. Fairholme is run by noted value investor Bruce Berkowitz.

Dreman Small Cap Value: Run by super investors and Forbes columnist, David Dreman, the fund is up 30% YTD and has a 3 year record of 22.5% annualized return.