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Stock fund ranks among nation’s leaders

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A leading trade publication ranked a local investment firm’s midsize company stock fund ninth among 295 funds for the five-year period that ended June 30, 2014.

Kirr, Marbach Partners Value Fund received the distinction in this month’s issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

Kiplinger is a Washington, D.C.,-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice.


“We are big believers in eating our own cooking,” said Mark Foster, chief investment partner for Kirr, Marbach & Co. and the fund’s adviser. “We are invested alongside our fellow shareholders and are pleased for them.”

Kirr, Marbach Partners Value Fund (KMVAX) realized a five-year annualized return of 24.4 percent.

The no-load, diversified equity fund launched Dec. 31, 1998.

The Putnam Equity “Spectrum A” fund ranked first among midsize company stock funds, which also included two funds from Hotchkis & Wiley, the Primecap Odyssey Impressive Growth Fund and the Oceanstone Fund in the top five.

Foster said it was satisfying to be included on the list.

“When you look at some of the other fund managers, they are very large firms with a lot more resources,” Foster said. “It’s nice to know that a smaller company in the middle of Indiana can compete with the big-fund guys.”

Kirr, Marbach describes itself as a value investment company that researches a stock as if it plans to own the business for five to 10 years. It seeks to invest in areas of market inefficiencies, such as spin-offs, post-bankruptcy reorganizations and corporate restructurings.

Foster describes the strategy as “buying straw hats in the winter.”

Kirr, Marbach & Co. is a registered investment adviser in Columbus that has been independently owned and managed since its predecessor was founded in May 1975.

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