Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013 - (Page 54)

Undiscovered Manager Lines of Communication By Michael Brennan To the team at Conestoga, a key part of investing is openly discussing the firm’s successes and failures. To hear them tell their story, the proprietors of Conestoga Capital Advisors deal as much in communications as they do in the mutual funds they operate. Communications with the companies whose stocks they buy. Communications with the advisors who invest in their funds. Communications with each other. It’s an awful lot of talking in a business more identified with the top-down scrutinizing of a sea of metrics. But give the people at Conestoga enough time and you might begin to see things their way: that good investing can be, as much as anything 54 Morningstar Advisor February/March 2013 else, about having your ear to the ground and seeking out meaningful discussions with the people with whom you intend to do business. the previous several years. For some, it was immediately a tough sell. “In hindsight,” Mitchell says, “we started our firm in a very challenging time period.” They showed that much right away. In 2002, it might have appeared that Conestoga had some explaining to do. Bill Martindale and Bob Mitchell had just founded the company with W. Christopher Maxwell and Duane R. D’Orazio to ply a small-cap strategy in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble that had stoked and then set ablaze the markets during If Conestoga had been founded by less-established proprietors, that might have been the end of the story. But the team members had a long track record and a book of loyal investors who had followed them from their previous company. They’d proven their ability to make hay by digging up stocks that had quietly established track records and

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013

Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013
Letter From the Editor
Social Media, the Old- Fashioned Way
Do You Use Active Strategies?
Youth Appeal
How to Buy the Unloved 2013
Morningstar Managers of the Year
Investments á la Carte
Investment Briefs
Approaches to Absolute-Return Investing
In Agriculture, It’s Good to Be Strong
Yes, There Are Good Active Funds
The Decoupling
Where It Could Pay to Be Active
The Active Fund That Defies Obsolescence
The Epitome of an Active Manager
Lines of Communication
The Existence of Market Timing ‘Intelligence’
A Route to Commodities that Bypasses the Futures Market
Best Positioned for Health-Care Reform
Diversified Stock Funds That Earn Their Stars
Our Favorite Mutual Funds
50 Most-Popular Equity ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
A Twisted Debate

Morningstar Advisor - February/March 2013