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Ken Heebner: Best Fund Manager Alive?

Other major holdings of CGMFX include America Movile ADR (AMX), Petroleo Brasileiro S/A ADR (Petrobras) (PBR) and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan (POT).

Interestingly, U.S. Steel, Petrobras, Freeport McMoRan and Potash of Saskatchewan are also among the top holdings of another fund that can legitimately reside in the same universe as CGMFX. The Quaker Strategic Growth Fund (QUAGX) placed first among diversified equity funds over the past 10 years in risk-adjusted performance, as measured by its Sharpe Ratio. CGMFX ended in 12th by the Sharpe measure for that period.

Among QUAGX's other major holdings are resource plays Schlumberger (SLB) and BHP Billiton ADR (BHP).

Investors attracted to CGMFX, or any of the CGM funds, are -- as with all funds -- cautioned not to ignore the warnings on its filings that "past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results." Also, Heebner's remarkable performance at CGMFX started in the year 2000, meaning his tenure as a superstar manager is not yet nine years old.

While successful fund managers are susceptible to slumps at any time, some hot streaks have lasted well past the decade mark. Bill Miller's remarkable record at the Legg Mason Value Trust (LMVTX) of annually besting the S&P 500's performance lasted for 14 seasons.

Over a similar number of years, Peter Lynch grew the Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX) from $18 million in assets in 1977 to $14 billion when he left the helm in 1990. Sir John Templeton, who died earlier this month, achieved lucrative gains in global investments for decades beginning in the mid 1950s.

So while there is always the chance that Heebner's fame might prove ephemeral, the possibility remains that his portfolio management skill might also steer the CGM funds to even further greatness.

Last 3 Mos. 27.01 1 / 3344 Eaton Vance Tax Mgd SmCap Gr A (ETMGX) A+ 2 19.28
Yr. to Date 17.09 2 / 3271 Leuthold Grizzly Short Fund (GRZZX) B 1 29.82
Last 12 Mos. 70.87 1 / 3158 Leuthold Grizzly Short Fund (GRZZX) B 2 46.30
Last 3 Years 38.74 1 / 2603 Ivy Fund-Asset Strategy A (WASAX) A+ 2 20.13
Last 5 Years 35.41 1 / 2163 Pacific Advisors Small Cap A (PASMX) B+ 2 24.96
Last 10 Years 26.34 1 / 1380 Turner Emerging Growth Fund (TMCGX) B 2 24.18
Cal. 2007 79.92 1 / 3079 American Century Leg Foc Lg Cp Inv (ACFOX) U 2 46.81
Cal. 2006 14.95 959 / 2779 Pacific Advisors Small Cap A (PASMX) B+ 1 35.05
Cal. 2005 25.32 2 / 2500 Hennessy Focus 30 Fund (HFTFX) C+ 1 32.74
Cal. 2004 12.33 1028 / 2291 Bruce Fund (BRUFX) C 1 56.26
Cal. 2003 66.46 33 / 2110 Apex Mid-Cap Growth Fund (BMCGX) D+ 1 165.28
Cal. 2002 -17.79 856 / 1969 Prudent Bear Fd (BEARX) A+ 1 62.87
Cal. 2001 47.65 2 / 1803 Wasatch Micro Cap Fund (WMICX) E- 1 49.99
Cal. 2000 53.93 2 / 1616 Robeco Boston Ptrs Lg/Sh Equit Inv (BPLEX) C- 1 59.87
Cal. 1999 8.45 1080 / 1474 Van Wagoner Emerging Growth Fund (VWEGX) E- 1 291.15
Cal. 1998 3.52 1038 / 1311 Berkshire Focus Fund (BFOCX) C 1 103.96
Last 12 Mos. 2.54 1 / 3158 Caldwell & Orkin Mkt Opportunity (COAGX) A+ 2 2.19
Last 3 Years 1.51 3 / 2603 Ivy Fund-Asset Strategy A (WASAX) A+ 1 1.79
Last 5 Years 1.48 1 / 2163 Ivy Fund-Asset Strategy A (WASAX) A+ 2 1.48
Last 10 Years 0.74 12 / 1380 Quaker Strategic Growth A (QUAGX) A 1 0.95
* Annualized returns for periods more than a year.
Source: Ratings - Data as of 6/30/2007.
For an explanation of our ratings, click here.

Richard Widows is a senior financial analyst for Ratings. Prior to joining, Widows was senior product manager for quantitative analytics at Thomson Financial. After receiving an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University in California, his career included development of investment information systems at data firms, including the Lipper division of Reuters. His international experience includes assignments in the U.K. and East Asia.
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