If you believe traders' hype, you'd think they're all swaggering exemplars of manhood, unafraid to buck a trend and stand alone. And if you bothered to do the research, you'd discover most fund managers stay fully invested with generally minor tweaks to the stock weightings in their given sector.
Run a tech fund? Buy the Nasdaq-100, sprinkle it with an overweight in Apple, and you've looked like a god for the last two years. To be a genuine contrarian on Wall Street is to eschew the "fund manager as marketer" norm and actually try to add value with your brains and guts. Suffice it to say real contrary thinking is rare.
So it was with some skepticism that I approached our interview with Greg Estes, portfolio manager of the braggadociously named Intrepid All Cap Fund (ICMCX). I was happily surprised when the soft-spoken Estes walked unassumingly into the "Breakout" studio and showed us what real independent thinking on Wall Street looks like.
You want contrarian, free-thinking fund management? Try this on for size:
*Estes believes, and actually says, Apple is overvalued.
*Estes has cash in his portfolio. The money pros among you already know what this implies, but let me lay it out for those who have never been judged as human beings based on a single quarter of performance: A mutual fund manager lugging around cash in an up market is like a guy wearing a meat suit in a dog pound -- he's either crazy tough or simply crazy.
On "Breakout" we respect nothing so much as courage of conviction and willingness to take a stand. Like his Intrepid All Cap Fund, Estes delivered. Watch the interview, and tell us what you think. We're at firstname.lastname@example.org.