Let the Rally Begin

Is growth back? It sure seems like it. Dot-coms such as eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY  ) seem to be blowing the market away on a regular basis.

More winners could be on the way. A survey of leading investment managers conducted by the Russell Investment Group says the growth rally will continue through the remainder of the year. And Fidelity Magellan manager Harry Lange says growth isn't just good, it's cheap. "I am still convinced that this is the place to be and if anything ... I have been adding even more to growth stocks," Lange told Reuters.

Don't dump the downtrodden
Surely Lange's optimism draws from years of success with growth stocks as manager of Fidelity Capital Appreciation, which thumped the market during both the go-go years of the bubble and the ugly aftermath that ensued. But there's also more to it than that. History, for one.

Growth stocks did better than value for the six years between 1994 and 2000, as technology stocks soared. Value stocks have been on a roll since. Now, as earnings growth begins to show signs of slowing, fast movers unaffected by general economic malaise could return to prominence. That's why, when Lange took the helm of the Magellan fund, he dumped ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) and bought Apple.

Funding growth
Then there's small growth go-getter Vanguard Explorer (VEXPX), which trailed the market by 6 percentage points in 2006. This year, Explorer's managers are betting on speedsters like chipmaker Microsemi (Nasdaq: MSCC  ) , biotech Cephalon (Nasdaq: CEPH  ) , and health-care consultant Advisory Board (Nasdaq: ABCO  ) , and their go-go style is edging out the S&P 500 year to date. (These companies are expected by Street analysts to boost earnings by more than 15% annually over the next five years.)

Be a rebel with a cause
Here at Fool HQ, we've begun to see the turn as well. In the summer of 2006, David Gardner's Rule Breakers portfolio was bleeding red. And the quest for the next Starbucks was stuck in the mud. No longer. Today, the portfolio is once again beating the market and features 11 stocks that have at least doubled, including Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU  ) and Chipotle (NYSE: CMG  ) .

How did it turn around? My analysis points to three traits shared by our biggest winners:

  1. A competitive advantage in an important, emerging market.
  2. A sustainable business growing at an above-average pace.
  3. Top-flight mangers who have a clear vision for what they wish to accomplish.

As you seek the sort of multibagger returns that helped growth gurus like Peter Lynch and Philip Fisher make millions from thousands, remember these factors. And, in the meantime, if you're looking for ideas for how to take advantage of the current growth stock rally, click here to get 30 days of free access to Rule Breakers. We'll show you everything we're buying now.

This article was originally published on Nov. 14, 2006. It has been updated.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this article at the time of publication. eBay and Starbucks are Stock Advisor selections. Baidu.com and Chipotle are Rule Breakers recommendations; Chipotle is also a Hidden Gems recommendation. Vanguard Explorer and Fidelity Capital Appreciation are Champion Funds picks. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is a rebel with a cause.


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