If At First You Don't Succeed...

Heiko Thieme is a bull's bull. It takes one to launch a mutual fund--his second--in today's choppy market. Especially since Morningstar says his first fund, American Heritage ($91 million in assets), was among the worst performers in 1994's first half, down 28%.

None of this daunts Thieme. He unveiled the new fund, no-load American Heritage Growth, in early May. Like American Heritage, it focuses on undervalued stocks, but will avoid speculative highfliers and stick with established names such as IBM. Letters from Thieme welcome minimum investments of $5,000. Total investment in American Heritage Growth as of July 11: just $291,000.

Still, when Thieme took over American Heritage from another manager in 1990, it was a sickly fund with a -31% return. Since then, he rode the bull market, turning in heady performances averaging 49% annually. The market's 1994 woes have hit American Heritage hardest because of sour holdings, such as scandal-plagued Spectrum Information Technologies.

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