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Five Funds to Watch Ahead of The Bounce

Challenge: Finding investments positioned to thrive when things get better.

Morningstar mutual fund analyst Karen Dolan singles out five funds that look good -- even if their recent records aren't all that impressive.

Topping her list is the Pimco Total Return Fund .

"Even with this turbulent environment, they've gotten the housing call right, they've got currency correct," she told CNBC. "They need the Fed to continue decreasing rates, but we think they're going to do a good job sidestepping the trouble."

Then there's the Third Avenue Value Fund , managed by Marty Whitman.

"If there's distress in the marketplace, he's going to look at those assets, and he's willing to step in," she said. "He did it with Kmart in 2002, he's doing it now with MBIA and MGIC, and we think that it could hurt for a little while, but he's good at coming out ahead in the long run."

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Another Dolan's list is the Schneider Value Fund .

"Arnie Schneider is a deep-value investor," she said. "He made some mistakes in 2007, but we think longer-term, his going to be pretty darn good."

The Dreyfus Appreciation Fund and the Van Kampen Pace Fund round out her top five, in part because of their ability to control expenses.

"A lot of people forget about them when returns are high, but when you've got a tougher market environment, expenses are only going to eat away at that even more," she told CNBC. "It depends on what kind of asset class you're in, but, generally speaking, all of these funds have very low expenses."