NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Eye doctor by day, market-beating portfolio manager during his lunch hour: meet Dr. Robert Freedland of La Crosse, Wis.
"I really have a hard time discussing stocks with my wife, because she's not an investment person at all," Freedland says. "So if I tell her I have a stock that's gone up 40% she says, 'Sell it!' Because she probably thinks like everybody else does that what the hell do I know: if it went up it must be a mistake."
If that's true, Freedland has been making a lot of the right kind of mistakes of late.
The health care portfolio he manages was up 32.2% over the past year as of Friday, beating both the S&P 500 and the S&P Health Care index over the same period.
With characteristic humility, Freedland attributes the health care portfolio's success to "being in the right place at the right time."
"I'd like to say I'm incredibly brilliant and … nobody else could have done it and I'm the next Peter Lynch, but reality is the health care sector's been very, very strong," he says.
Freedland made his first investment, in a company called Global Marine, with $300 he got for his bar mitzvah.
"It turned out I bought the stock within a quarter point of its historic high." Freedland recalls. As he recalls, the same week he bought the stock, the company announced it would suspend its exploration for gold in Alaska. He is fairly sure he sold it in the teens.
Despite that experience, Freedland still frequently likes to go for stocks on an upward trend.
"I always tell people my technical idea of a good stock is a chart that on the left side is lower than the right side. I've learned a certain amount of humility where people say, 'Look at this, this stock has come down 40%. Isn't this a time to buy it? What a buy!' And I say I'd rather buy a stock that's up 40%"