It took four and a half years to make it happen, but investing blogger Mark Hanna
is getting into the mutual fund business himself.
Southfield, Michigan-based Hanna Capital
launched its first fund -- the Paladin Long Short Fund
-- on December 15. Hanna also launched a new blog called Market Montage
at almost the same time.
While mutual funds are a new frontier for Hanna, blogs are not. He rose to cloaked-prominence in 2007 with his Fund My Mutual Fund
blog. At that time he posted
under the alias Trader Mark
and sometimes Mark Smith
. Either way, his picks were cloaked in anonymity.
He continued to build a following running Mark73's "rising tide growth" virtual portfolio on Marketocracy
. That portfolio returned 15 percent from August 2007 through July 2008 even as the S&P 500 fell about 13 percent. It also put Hanna's proper name on the map.
Now Hanna will put those years of preparation to the test by managing an actual mutual fund portfolio with client assets.
"It's always been a passion of mine," Hanna told MFWire.com
. "I was actually just a retail investor for pretty much 20 years. My background is financial analysis but in the corporate world."
To take care of the day-to-day operations and distribution of the fund, Hanna has tapped Rocky Mount, North Carolina-based Nottingham
. He credits Quaker Funds
founder Jeff King
with mentoring him and introducing him to Nottingham's turnkey back-office support.
The fund seems targeted to appeal to the following Hanna developed as a blogger and at Marketocracy. He opted to go the no-load route and has started the fund off on custody platforms that are the haunts of direct investors.
The fund is already on E*Trade
's and Vanguard
's platforms, and he's working on Scottrade
will be next, says Hanna.
The mutual fund carries a 285-basis-point expense ratio and an investment minimum of $2,500 ($1,000 for IRAs).
The fund is a go-anywhere fund focused on both capital preservation and long-term capital appreciation.
"I tried to make it as flexible as possible, almost like a hedge fund within a mutual fund," Hanna said. "I marry top-down macro-economic analysis to bottom-up analysis ... then I overlay that with technical analysis of the market overall and of individual stocks."
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