How One Mutual Fund Beat Downward Trend In Recent Years

In March 2000, 275 mutual funds posted triple-digit returns. In the years since, over 100 mutual funds went out of business.

But the Turner Emerging Growth Fund has managed to maintain 13.41% growth over the last five years. Want to know how? The fund's manager, Turner Investment Partners' Frank Sustersic, joined "Morning Call" to discuss his investment doctrine.

While the Turner Emerging Growth Fund is closed to new investors, the ideology behind its success may stir the imagination. Sustersic told CNBC's Liz Claman that for the last five to seven years, he has been on the defense -- and the offense.

During the bear market period, when "investors grew more risk-averse and the Fed raised rates," he said he concentrated on scrutinizing company balance sheets, looking for dependability. But more recently, the fund has been able to "fortunately" invest "on the offense," seeking "specific niches," he said.

And what are those niche plays? The fund manager likes firms with market caps of $1 billion or less, with such unusual profiles as Bucyrus International, a maker of giant strip-mining machinery that is not only a play on commodity inflation, but "literally, operates an oligopoly." From coal and copper Sustersic turned to fertilizer, seeing advantage in the global agri-business boom.