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Top investor Martin Sass putting cash to work

Martin Sass, founder, chairman and CEO of M.D. Sass
Brendan McDermid | Retuers

Hedge fund manager Martin Sass stood out from the pack in the CNBC Pro Platinum Portfolio competition by putting most of his funds in cash at the start of 2016. But now, with signs of a strengthening economy coupled with a weak dollar, Sass is putting some money to work.

"I recently put half of the cash reserves in my Platinum portfolio to work in each of my four Platinum stock picks, reflecting my more positive market view and buying opportunities in these holdings," said Sass.

In contrast to what he calls a "myriad of risks" that led him to be cautious at the start of the year, the investor believes the risk/reward scenario for stocks has improved.

After a volatile few weeks earlier this year, which pushed the S&P 500 to a two-year low on Feb. 11, the equity benchmark has staged a strong rally, up nearly 14 percent since then, held up mostly by cyclical stocks such as material and energy names.

Sass, who oversees $7 billion in assets at M.D. Sass, a New York-based firm he founded in 1972, believes strategic deployment of cash will pay off in the long term as catalysts improve.