One of the top mutual funds in the country is built on faith. That's faith in a higher power—it's not called the Matthew 25 Fund for nothing—and also faith that its assets would recover from a 2008 low of $22 million, down from $115 million. Well, either God or the market has come through for fund manager and founder Mark Mulholland: It's now worth $452 million and is ranked the No. 1 mutual fund in the diversified stock category by Bloomberg. "Mark is the best investor around that no one has ever heard of," says one of the fund's investors.
Matthew 25:14-30 instructs people to invest what they've been given, and that's exactly what Mulholland has done, says Barron's. He bought shares in Apple, its largest holding, at $80 to $128 each in 2008. Today, they're trading at around $445. The fund has returned almost 27% over three years. Mulholland never lost the faith: "The companies we owned were so cheap that barring a total collapse of the economic system, I knew at some point we were going to make a lot of money," he says.