Investors who want to tap the gains of the energy sector might be wise to consider mutual funds that are willing to give up on an investment even when it's popular.

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NEW YORK — With higher prices at the pump unavoidable, many investors would love to put some of the money lost to $4-a-gallon gas back in their pockets.

But harnessing the gains in oil and gas can be harder than it might seem.

Energy and other commodities are the latest hot investments because of the great rewards they can bring, although history makes clear they could spell pain for those who don’t diversify and who don’t stop to ask whether an investment still holds merit.

Investors looking to tap the gains of the energy sector might be wise to consider mutual funds that are willing to give up on an investment even when it’s popular.

They also might see less volatility by investing in companies tied into commodities rather than investing in oil itself, for example.

Jerry Jordan, portfolio manager of Jordan Opportunity Fund, which has big holdings in companies that help extract oil, said it’s important that investors and fund managers periodically re-evaluate the reasons why they’re invested.

Jordan thinks energy prices might pull back in the short term but will continue to rise in the coming years because of worldwide demand and inadequate infrastructure in the U.S. for refining oil and generating and transmitting electricity.

He said he’s been willing to prune his investments in energy or other sectors when he determined they had become overextended.

The fund has a three-year annualized return of 21 percent.