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Soft Money

Gumby's got nothing on this flexible fund.

You've got to love the Wasatch family of funds. This Utah-based fund family has a stellar record for fund management, but today, only one of its funds remains open to new investors: the Wasatch Global Science & Technology Fund (WAGTX).

Ajay Krishnan manages this 3-year-old sector fund, and typical of all funds within the family, uses a bottom-up approach to investing, is research driven, and is very price/earnings sensitive. "Just in terms of our valuation discipline," says Krishnan, "we're trying to capture growth, but we don't think you have to take on undue P/E risk to get it."

That strategy has paid off. The fund was up 48 percent in 2003, and ranked No. 1 in overall performance over the past three years in Lipper's Science & Technology Category.

This fund is flexible and versatile. When tech stocks are moving, its portfolio will bend toward them. When they're not, Krishnan will reallocate assets into health and sciences stocks, where the recurring revenue sources can be more stable. As for versatility, the fund may invest in companies around the world and of any market-cap size, but more typically small- to midcap companies.

"This is not a hot dotcom fund in the sense that it's probably not going to be at the top of the heap in an aggressive market," says Krishnan. But for those who like these sectors-and their inherent risks-this fund might be one to look into.

Dian Vujovich is an author, syndicated columnist and publisher of fund investing site

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This article was originally published in the May 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Soft Money.

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