Taking Stock: How One Fund Posted Positive Results

Libertyville's star money man

Of 2,800 certified stock funds in the United States, only one posted positive results in 2008: the one run by Thomas Forester of Libertyville.

How did he do it?

"His father taught him to favor unloved companies with steady earnings," eFinancial Newsreports.

"He did it by watching the downside," the Wall Street Journalreports.

"Forester is a classic value investor," David Roederwrites in the Sun-Times, "one who looks for strong companies whose stocks have been beaten up by bad news or neglected by investor whim."

What does Forester himself attribute his success to?

"Our obsession with risk control," he writes at forestervalue.com. "The Fund focuses on stock fundamentals, instead of the psychology surrounding an individual stock."

Examples of stocks that performed for Forester in 2008: Anheuser-Busch, Wal-Mart, and McDonald's.

Roeder says that Forester is "comfortable with his obscurity" but his winning results "threaten him with stardom."

Maybe so, but Chuck Jaffe of MarketWatchoffers a caveat: "This is not Forester Value's first time as king of the hill. The fund was in the top 1 percent of its large-value peer group in both 2002 and 2004. It has also been at the bottom of the pig pile, finishing in the bottom 1 percent of its peers in 2003 and 2006."

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