A "SECOND OPINION" FOPR INVESTORS

Financial gurus routinely tell investors to do their homework. But few money managers take that advice further than Steven Abernathy, founder and chairman of The Abernathy Group, a $150 million fund of medical and information technology stocks.

Using his trademarked Collaborative Investing model, Abernathy has built a network of 100-plus “thought leaders” in medical specialties including cardiology, ophthalmology, and oncology. These professionals invest with the fund and advise Abernathy as he seeks new companies. Besides using the traditional tools of money managers, such as analysis of balance sheets and cash flow, he always gets a second opinion from his industry experts.

“I like to get them all on the phone together so they can argue,” he says. “That way I can understand why one doc prefers a certain drug for glaucoma while another likes something else.”

So far, Abernathy seems to have the prescription for success. His 11-year-old Aggressive fund boasts a 29.13 percent average annual return. He’s usually at or near the top of Nelson Information’s list of the world’s best money managers.

“Many analysts only talk to management,” Abernathy says. “But the real experts are the people buying and using the products.”