This growth fund up more than 30% this year uses four key investing principles

Apple split its stock on Monday.
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One growth fund laser focused on identifying companies with earnings power ahead of expectations has outperformed the market this year as several long-term bets and pandemic-related portfolio changes drive returns.

The Hartford Growth Opportunities Fund, which has more than $2 billion in assets under management, is up 31% year to date, compared with the S&P 500's roughly 4% return. The Russell 1000 Growth index, which serves as the fund's benchmark, has gained 20% this year. Over the last five years, the fund has posted an annualized return of just under 20%.

Steve Mortimer, who has been co-portfolio manager since 2010, said the investment strategy is based on four key principles: identifying companies with long-term earnings power above what the Street is pricing in, analyzing short-term earnings for clues as to where a company is headed, looking for growth in unexpected places, and diligently weighing the risk against the reward for all stocks within the portfolio.