Bottom-up investors say they ignore macroeconomic trends and focus solely on the quality of a particular business. Of what consequence are unpredictable outside forces, the thinking goes, if you know a company inside and out?

For years, Chuck Akre, manager of the $280 million Akre Focus fund, was in that camp too. Running the FBR Focus fund through much of the tremendous bull market of the 1990s, it served him well. Periodic dips were simply opportunities to buy more of what he liked.

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