(Editor's Note: When Jim Cramer penned his reviewing and updating those stories. This piece checks in with TSC 7 managers Kent Simons and Kevin Risen.)
We told you they were cheap when we talked with Simons and Risen, they were talking to what certainly sounded like the big mucka muckas at these companies. So how long is long term? "Not necessarily five years," says Simons who is convinced that the actual impact of Asia on tech stocks won't be nearly as bad as the panic has been. Tech wasn't the only culprit in the fund's decline. The Focus fund's strategy is to limit investments to only six Standard & Poor's industry groups at a time. Besides finance and technology, the managers are in autos, retail, heavy industry and the recently shaken health-care sector. There, holdings like United Healthcare (UNH), Wellpoint (WLP), Sierra (SIE) and Foundation Health Systems (FHS) have taken their lumps on the heels of HMO giant Oxford's (OXHP) fallout. "It's annoying because we don't own Oxford and Cigna (CI), but it's a great habit on Wall Street to take what happened at one company, and extrapolate, causing trouble throughout the industry." Though the managers have been bulking up on tech, as of Dec. 2 Compaq (CPQ) is the only name in the sector to appear among the fund's top holdings. Instead, finance and autos like Countrywide Credit (CCR), Travelers (TRV), Citicorp, Fannie Mae (FNM), General Motors (GM) and Chrysler (C) litter the favored list. Simons says the financials should continue to perform in the current low-interest, low-inflation environment, but he says they've already done very well and he'd rather put new money in tech, where he sees even more opportunity. As for autos, the manager says he doesn't foresee problems for GM and Chrysler despite lower currencies in Asia that could put price pressure on auto makers here. "I think there's enough cost-cutting room at GM to pick up earnings momentum," says Simons, adding, "It will be more competitive, but I think that's factored into most Wall Street estimates." Despite fourth-quarter disappointments, flows in and out of the fund in the last three months have been flat, with not much coming or going, according to the managers. All in all, Simons and Risen think the year was just fine, though they added that it would have been even better if it had only ended a little sooner. "Actually the year was pretty good up until September," says Simons. "I don't know about Kevin, but I won't be sorry to see this one go." Kevin agreed.