If anyone knows how investors can make big money from small-cap companies, it's Mark Keeley.
His five-star Keeley Small Cap Value Fund is up an average of 23.7 percent per year over the last five years, and it even shows a 1 percent gain in this troubled year.
"People have been saying over the last couple of years that small-caps are overdone," he told CNBC.
"We maintain that there are still tremendous opportunities in the small-cap space."
Keeley's first pick in that space is Exco Resources.
"They're an independent gas and oil company, probably more active on the gas side," he said. "They, I think, will benefit greatly from the natural-gas play."
He also notes that oilman Boone Pickens is a director of the company. Pickens recommended the stock on CNBC last month.
Another small-cap on Keeley's list is Forestar Real EstateGroup.
"This is part of Temple Inland, which was broken up early this year," he said.
"We're looking out three to five years in advance, and this company owns 370,000 acres of land, and a lot of it's around the Atlanta area. You're basically buying the dirt...for around $2,000 an acre, which we still think is a very reasonable valuation.
- Video: Watch the entire Keeley interview (3 mins, 33 secs)
"It's probably easier to value dirt these days than it is derivatives," he added.
Keeley also likes Phoenix Companies.
Keeley owns Exco Resources, Forestar Real Estate, and Phoenix Companies through his fund.