When I recently met Richie Freeman, the terrific manager of
Smith Barney Aggressive Growth
, he talked about how tech was finally getting down to where he had to look at it. He discussed how he had disdained the valuations, sat out the whole dot-com mess and had only been buying
at much lower prices because it met his standards of cheapness.
But he said down 10% to 15% (the
was about at 2100 when I saw him). From there he would have to do some bargain hunting.
I am thinking of Richie now because I have spent so much time bashing those who destroyed you in tech that I want to highlight a manager who got it right and is now "whole" enough to take advantage of the bargains created by the redemptions of others to make money for you.
Isn't that what we all want? A manager who considers valuation? A manager who cares about whether something is cheap or expensive? A manager with principles who was not afraid to avoid technology when it was wrong and who is not afraid to like it now when it is so beaten up that it might be interesting? Someone who is in a position to put 20% of his fund in tech -- the right amount by my count -- because he has much less than that in it, not because he is selling tech into the vortex?
I have bashed and bashed and bashed mutual fund managers to death in this column. I think I have made my point. Now it is time to do some praising so I am sending you the right signal that it is time to commit new funds to the market.
Now's the time to send Freeman the money. Take it from the guys who got it wrong and give it to the guys who got it right. That makes all of the sense in the world. And it has the added advantage of being fair, something that we don't think much about in the money game.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column to