Legg Mason's Bill Miller may have closed 2005 with a record 15th consecutive year of beating the S&P 500 with his Value Trust Fund, but another money manager is being lauded as this year's best stock-picker.

While Miller is unquestionably consistent and delivers outstanding average annualized returns, The Boston Globe is unofficially anointing Ken Heebner of Capital Growth & Management as the year's top money manager. The three funds managed by Heebner - CGM Capital Development, CGM Focus and CGM Realty - were each up last week between 23% and 27%, The Globe reported. Longer-term performances are equally impressive, the newspaper said.

Like Miller in Baltimore, Heebner's name is well known outside of Boston. He's been picking stocks since the 1970s, but this decade might be the best of his career, The Globe submitted. For starters, he anticipated the tech crash in 2000 and sold those stocks short, and then he predicted booms in the housing and energy sectors and loaded up on those stocks. As a result, his three funds are each ranked tops in their categories by New York-based fund tracker Lipper.

As far as his outlook for this year is concerned, Heebner, who begins his research by 5 a.m. every day, said an extra dose of diligence might be required.

"It will be harder to make money than it was in 2005," he said. "Opportunities exist, but they're harder to find."

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.