NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Like the name of his mutual fund suggests, Thesis Flexible Fund (TFLEX) manager Stephen Roseman keeps his options open. He favors large-cap tech, hates mall REITs and finds alluring small-cap firms such as Global Ship Lease (GSL - Get Report) and West Marine (WMAR - Get Report).
The mutual fund has returned 3.4% over the past year, putting it in Morningstar's (MORN) 69th percentile for long-short funds, which can bet on declines in share prices.
Welcome to TheStreet.com's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views on the market in a five-question format.
How do you manage your mutual fund so it acts like a hedge fund?Roseman: It's a very traditional global long-short fund. What we do is manage risk. Before we think about return, we think about what the downside is in an investment. The idea is really to preserve capital while trying to grow it. One sector in which you are bullish is big-cap tech. You own stocks like Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report),Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) and Intel (INTC - Get Report). Why do you like these companies when there is so much worry about their growth potential? Roseman: The holy trinity used to have concerns about domestic GDP and investors were exclusively worried about domestic GDP. Today they are beneficiaries of global GDP and, frankly, they benefit as the world becomes more wired and wireless. They are trading at the cheapest multiples they have ever traded at. If you net out cash, they are trading at high single-digit multiples of earnings. One small-cap company you like is Global Ship Lease. Tell me about this one. Roseman: It is somewhat of a complicated story, but it has a dividend that is payable in arrears. Its accumulating a dividend that will be payable later in the spring. In addition, it has an ongoing dividend which will be about 92 cents. As a consequence, it's trading about half the valuation it should be on a yield basis. Staying with the nautical theme, you own West Marine. Roseman: The punchline for West Marine is that they are the last man standing. The industry consolidated and, frankly, collapsed during the downturn. They are a boat-supply retailer so they cater to both recreational boaters as well as professional boaters, in other words, lobstermen and fishermen. They are benefitting from the changes in the industry. They are trading at a 9% free cash flow yield and have a fortress balance sheet. And they will benefit from moves they are making in their own business as well as the recovery in the broader economy.