A fair number of small fund managers write each month, asking if we'd write about their funds. Very often these are guys with a fair track record at another fund. Some left in frustration with their previous employer's single-minded focus on asset gathering, some were victims of downsizing, and some were pursuing a passion for running their own fund. Some folks have good success in getting noticed (Seafarer is over $30 million in nine months) and others have great success (Grandeur Peak rolled over a half billion in about a year). Many struggle to get any notice or to reach sustainable asset levels.
Chip, Accipiter & co. do remarkable work, and a remarkable amount of it, in making MFO run. I do almost all of the editorial content (Chip handles all the manager changes, Junior used to do funds in registration but is out of commission now) and I'm stretched a bit thin, which would make it hard to keep up with all the "could you check us out, please" requests.
That's background. I was imagining a new feature called "The Elevator Speech" in which I offered small fund managers 150 words. That is, about the amount you could say if one, slightly-manic minute in an elevator.
The feature might look like this:
Tom Kerr's Elevator Talk
Mr. Kerr manages the Rocky Peak Small Cap Value Fund
(RPSCX), which launched on April 2, 2012. He co-managed RCB's Small Cap Value strategy and the CNI Charter RCB Small Cap Value Fund
(formerly RCBAX, now CSCSX) fund. Tom offers these 150 words on why folks should check in:
Unedited text, not to exceed 150 words, follows
The fund's minimum inital invest is $10,000, reduced to $1,000 for IRAs and accounts set up with AIPs. The fund's website is Rocky Peak Funds
. Tom's most-recent discussion of the fund appears in his September 2012 Semi-Annual Report
Since the feature would be short, we would be able to do two or three a month if folks asked or we might limit ourselves to one.
Back at FundAlarm, we did a longer but related feature called "The Fund Manager's Corner" in which I sent a fund manager three questions suggested by folks on the board (what would you be doing if you weren't managing mutual funds? what did you learn from your biggest investing mistake? if there was one thing you could tell a young person choosing between funds and ETFs, what would it be?) and asked that s/he answer two. That might be an option. I suppose a feature called "launching a new mutual: three things that surprised me and two that might surprise you" would be possible.
It's a really hard time, even for folks with great experience and a sensible strategy. I'd like to help.
Any thoughts about what strikes you as most interesting or useful?
Curious, as ever,