Monday, October 23, 2006

Wintergreen Fund

David J. Winters says he wants his associates at Wintergreen Advisers in Mountain Lakes to be so content that they "tap-dance to work."

His new fund, Wintergreen (WGRNX), started last October, is up slightly more than 9 percent.

What makes his new fund different?

It enjoys the best of two worlds, he explains. It has the transparency of a traditional mutual fund along with adherence to the SEC regulations that help keep managers honest.

He also has the tools of hedge funds: the ability to go anywhere for things to buy, to engage in short-selling (which he has done only on a small scale), arbitrage, hedging currencies and so forth. "We can do essentially everything a hedge fund can do -- except leveraging." (Borrowing to invest.)

In short, his fund is flexible. It's also global: Almost half of the assets are invested in foreign companies.

How many stocks does his fund own?

About 30, and he expects to keep the number down -- to focus on his best bets.

What advice would he give to all the people I meet who are afraid to invest in the stock market?

Buy one share of Berkshire Hathaway B, selling for about $3,300, which is "a fine collection of companies, managed by one of the smartest men on the planet, Warren Buffett."

To read the complete article.

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