Like the late Rodney Dangerfield, young funds typically don't get much respect. In at least one respect, though, they generally have it all over their better-established rivals. The small asset base a fund begins with means that its manager can concentrate on just his best ideas, and move in and out of smaller-cap stocks more nimbly than fatter rivals.

That doesn't automatically lead to outsized returns, of course -- not by a long shot. Nonetheless, a small asset base does provide a built-in competitive advantage that can make the job infinitely easier for a new fund's manager.

Under the microscope
So which small-base funds look interesting right now?

Well, at Champion Funds -- the Fool newsletter service that I head up -- we recently profiled and interviewed the manager of Presidio (PRSDX), a fund that debuted in 2005, whose asset base is in the neighborhood of $28 million.

The fund traffics mainly in small-cap territory, but manager Kevin O'Boyle -- who was a major factor in the market-crushing success of Meridian Value (MVALX) when he co-managed it from June 1995 to December 2003 -- has staked out positions in bigger fish, too. Electronic Data Systems (NYSE:EDS), Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH), and Colorado-based gold concern Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), for example, recently appeared in his fund's portfolio.

Another interesting offering is American Century Focused Growth (AFSIX), a fund with an asset base of just $17 million and change. Open for just a little more than a year, this concentrated large-cap fund -- whose portfolio of roughly 30 names recently included Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), EMC (NYSE:EMC) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) -- is young, but its senior manager is seasoned. And what's more, despite a svelte asset base, the fund sports an expense ratio of just 1%.

The Foolish bottom line
To be sure, these funds didn't make my radar screen just because they have small asset bases. That attribute greased the wheels, sure, but it was that fact combined with the other winning attributes outlined above that landed them on the Champion Funds watch list.

And speaking of lists ...

If you'd like to sneak a peak at the market-beating lineup we've assembled thus far at the newsletter, I encourage you to take a free 30-day guest pass and look around. Your pass is of the "all-access" variety, providing entree to our complete list of recommended funds, model portfolios, and back-issue archives, too.

It's all free for 30 days, so just click here to give Champion Funds a whirl. And once you've had a chance to check us out, be sure to let us know what you think on our members-only boards. Those are a part of the package, too.

Sweet, no?

Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick.

Shannon Zimmerman, lead analyst for Motley Fool Champion Funds, doesn't hold a financial position in any of the companies listed. The Fool is investors writing for investors, and you can read all about our disclosure policy right here.