Top Fund Manager Sees Hopeful Signs

Thyra Zerhusen, whose Aston/Optimum Mid-Cap Equity fund has beaten about 95% of its peers over the past decade, is seeing signs of hope in the economy, and has been buying on the market’s dips.

According to SmartMoney, Zerhusen bought shares of firms like media giant Gannett and speech-technology firm Nuance Communications when the market declined this year. She says improved earnings in the spring and reports of components shortages are encouraging signs. “I wouldn’t have said it a month ago, but I think the recovery has legs,” she tells SmartMoney.

Zerhusen takes a long-term approach, and invests in a focused portfolio of 35 to 40 firms, SmartMoney reports. She keys on stocks with market caps of $1 billion to $12 billion, which she says are “largely ignored”.

SmartMoney says Zerhusen’s buys tend to focus on one or two business lines, and sell “must-have” services or products. And she compares price/sales or price/earnings ratios to a firm’s growth to find bargains. She also seems to have a contrarian streak — “your best ideas are often when people think you are crazy,” she says.

Click here to read the full article, which includes some of Zerhusen’s stock picks.

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