“One of the reasons that we started the Encompass Fund is that we have some problems with the way that the mutual fund industry works,” says comanager Malcolm Gissen. The main problem, he says, is that managers don’t “think outside the box” and instead “invest for mediocre results.” This fund’s results, for better or worse, have been anything but mediocre. After losing 62 percent in 2008, the fund gained a staggering 137 percent last year. It uses a go-anywhere approach, meaning that its managers can invest in any country and in any type of security that they choose. Late last year, for instance, the fund had 20 percent of its portfolio in gold-related picks.
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