At the foot of the colossal Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City sits a fund company whose big idea is thinking small. Since 1975, Wasatch Advisors has been focused on small-cap stocks, believing that this corner of the investment universe offers pricing inefficiencies and enough periodic disruptions for a manager to find value.

The $541 million Wasatch Core Growth fund stands out in this fund family because it prefers steady over spectacular growth. J.B. Taylor, the fund's longtime manager, looks for companies with earnings growth rates of 15% year in and year out, a fairly difficult hurdle for small companies to achieve. Those that do are standouts. "Core to us is a descriptive word," Taylor says. "It speaks to the quality and the consistency of the business models these companies have."

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