In Praise of Ron Muhlenkamp

Roben Farzad

The market timing scandal, brain drain to hedge funds and deluge of new ETFs coming to market have combined to make the traditional mutual fund manager look downright buggywhippish these days. Fortunately, manager Ronald Muhlenkamp, a straight-shooter who sports a professorial, Civil War-caliber beard and consistently solid performance, is in no imminent danger of becoming obsolete.

Muhlenkamp

His Muhlenkamp Fund (MUHLX) has posted an average annualized return of 12% in the past five years -- emasculating the S&P 500's crapisimo 0.60% gain. I like how the veteran takes the time to reason aloud on his Web site, handholding on everything from household budgets to Social Security to Capitol Hill's blowharding re: oil-company profits.

He wisely bought a ton of Mexican cement giant Cemex (CX), sensing the voracious demand for the product courtesy of the homebuilding frenzy -- and how the rebuilding Gulf region would need to draw down even more. Today the U.S. announced it will be slashing duties on Mexican cement. Cemex shares have nearly doubled in a year.

A shoutout to Ron for providing much-needed comfort to my mom's retirement account.

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