Television-Electronics Fund, Inc. (Kemper Technology)
Television-Electronics Fund, Inc. (Kemper Technology)
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Nicely engraved stock certificate from the Television-Electronics Fund, Inc. dating back to the 1960's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company President and Treasurer, was printed by the Columbian Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11 3/4" (w) by 8" (h).
The vignette features a cable connector.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
Before there was Uncle Miltie, "The Honeymooners" and "Gunsmoke," there was a mutual fund called the Television Fund.
When what is now the nation's oldest technology mutual fund opened in 1948, it focused on the post-war era's cutting-edge technology.
Fifty-two years later, the fund is known as the Kemper Technology Fund, and its TV-heavy days are long behind it. Cable television and media stocks now represent just 1.2% of the holdings of the $5.3 billion fund, $68 million of which is from institutional investors.
The fund, which primarily invests in large-cap and midcap growth stocks, had its best year ever in 1999, returning 114.3%. It counts among its top holdings "new economy" stocks, such as Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., and JDS Uniphase Corp. It also includes a couple of holdings that have been around quite a while -- Intel Corp.; Texas Instruments Inc., which has been in the portfolio since 1958; and Motorola Inc., which was among the 15 stocks in the original portfolio in 1948.
When they launched the fund in 1948, Chester Tripp, president of Television Shares Management Corp., Chicago, along with five associates -- William Pope, Charles James, Russell Matthias, Herbert Taylor and Vernon Forsberg -- sought to take advantage of the blossoming television industry by investing in companies such as Philco Corp., Columbia Broadcasting System, Magnavox Co. and Motorola at a time when there were about 1 million television sets in the United States. Within four years, color television would be introduced.
"It started out like a house afire," said Thomas Williams, who was involved with the fund between 1961 and 1991 as an analyst, portfolio manager and consultant.
The fund posted positive returns in nine of its first 10 years.
In 1950, it broadened into the Television-Electronics Fund, a change that allowed its holdings to expand to include stocks such as Sprague Electric Co. and Westinghouse Electric Corp. That year, it returned 28.9%.
"It was not just TV and electronics," said Mr. Williams. "It was everything that went with it and benefited from it."
In 1958, electronics was an $8 billion industry, but television, radio and phonographs made up only about 20% of the industry. With a portfolio that included stocks such as Champion Spark Plug Co., Addressograph-Multigraph Corp., Dictaphone Corp. and Lockheed Aircraft Corp., the fund posted a 30.1% return. Net assets in the fund climbed to $204 million, a 51% increase from the previous year's total.
In 1961, the company changed its name to Supervised Investors Services Inc.
In 1970, the Kemper Corporation purchased and renamed the fund the Technology Fund.
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