SLMCX). Columbia has a long record of outperforming competitors in downturns. When technology funds lost 36.9% in 2001, Columbia stayed in the black. During the collapse of 2008, the fund outdid peers by 8 percentage points. Portfolio manager Paul Wick has limited losses by steering away from high-priced stocks. During the technology boom of the 1990s, he stayed away from expensive Internet stocks. That caused the fund to trail during the bull market. But when the high-flyers crashed, Wick avoided the worst damage. By avoiding big losses, Columbia has recorded a sterling long-term record. During the past 10 years, the fund has returned 5.0% annually, while its average peer lost 1.5%. Columbia aims to buy stocks that sell for reasonable multiples compared to their growth rates. A favorite holding is Symantec ( SYMC), a security software company that sells for a forward P/E multiple of 11. The business can increase earnings at a rate in the low to mid teens, says Richard Parower, a member of the Columbia portfolio management team. He says that the stock is undervalued because of the company's past problems. "They had execution hiccups in the past couple years, but they are finally getting their act together," he says.