After being relentlessly tough on the mutual fund industry, what a pleasure it is to look at the reports and insights sent out by the Gabelli organization.
Each week I try to take a look at a new fund and judge it on the meager info that it sends out. Perhaps, therefore, it is not surprising that the firms with the best disclosure, in some ways, happen to be among the better funds. Such is the case with Gabelli Growth . When you give your money to Gabelli Growth, you get a manager, Howard Ward, who is not only a seasoned veteran who has seen all kinds of markets, but you also get someone who is willing to tell you about what he does. You get the sense that there is a philosophy behind his judgments and a rigor to his stock picking.
Can This Man Pick Stocks?
And can this man pick stocks? His excellent, most-recent quarterly report, which was available not long after the quarter was over, showed me this man knows tech, banks and drugs. You rarely see this breadth of knowledge in managers. His overweighting in telco, communications and semis (he loves Cisco and Intel seems perfect for this environment.
I found myself thinking, what the heck, I gotta put my IRA with this guy. Great information, solid stock-picking, great long-term record. Nice numbers this year. Good manager.
Gabelli Growth was returning 12.9 percent this year (through Friday). That’s better than 95 percent of the funds in its large-cap blend category, according to Morningstar. Three-year and five-year returns are in the top 1 percent of its category. What’s not to like?
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Cisco and Intel. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks.