Dennis Delafield and Vincent Sellacchia, managers of the Delafield Fund, which soared 55% in 2009, will continue to take a cautious approach in 2010, seeking out small- and mid-cap companies that are clearly poised for growth, keeping 20% of assets, a record amount, in cash, and paying keen attention to companies’ debt covenants.

“We’re willing to buy depressed companies where we think the valuation makes sense. We’re very much willing to look at companies that might be troubled, where we can identify why there’s an issue that’s caused a company to underperform and why it should perform better in the future," Sellacchia told the Associated Press. 

The managers said they made the right call in early 2008 by keeping 90% of the fund in cash. Going forward, they will still keep 20% or so in cash, even if that means lagging the market.

The fund skippers also said they hope investors continue to be cautious about their investments, because, as Delafield put it, “One of the awful things that happened over the past 10 years is the development of this idea that investing is a game. It isn’t a game. It’s your life savings. It’s your future.”

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