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Alternative Market Briefing

2014 a year for superior stock picking

Monday, February 10, 2014

Marty Sass
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

What a change this year brought to the U.S. stock markets. After gaining almost 30% in 2013 relatively smoothly, the S&P 500 lost 5.8% from its Jan. 15 record of 1,848.38 through Feb. 3. However, trading recent data shows some investors have been unconvinced that turmoil in emerging markets and signs of slowing growth in the U.S. and China would lead to lasting declines in the index, which had its biggest two-day rally since October on Feb. 6 and 7, reports Bloomberg.

Marty Sass, an investment veteran and CEO of New York-based investment house M.D. Sass, counts among his funds a few alternative strategies, including Maximus Partners, LP. This long/short equity hedge fund, which invests mostly in U.S. public equities, returned 2.5% in December and nearly 35% in 2013. According to him, 2014’s gains will moderate and the stock market will be choppier.

Undervaluation in 2013 With inflation declining, global economy expanding and massive unprecedented monetary stimulus, the fund’s managers increased their equity exposure throughout 2013, as well as their concentration in the largest positions that had the best risk-reward profiles.

"We carefully concentrated in our highest conviction stocks, which had very compelling upside and not that much downside," Sass explains to Opalesque......................

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