It is a downturn that has defied many of the lessons of the past, but some portfolio managers are convinced that, as in previous recoveries, small-cap stocks will be in the front rank as this market marches back.
Eric Marshall of the Hodges Small Cap Fund is one of them.
"Typically, there's a lot of beaten-down values out there," he told CNBC. "About 90 percent of the time, the small-cap stocks actually perform the best in the 12 months after a recession. We think small-cap stocks offer a great risk-reward."
Although the Dow Jones Industrials and the small-cap Russell 2000 are both down by about a third, year-over-year, the Russell is up 22 percent from the November lows, while the Dow is up 9 percent.
The next question, of course, involves which small-caps to buy.
"We like one that's kind of overlooked out there, Titan Machinery, a Case-New Holland (farm equipment) dealership in the upper Midwest," he said. "This company is growing both organically and through acquisition, sitting on a pile of cash, no debt, and trading at about ten times earnings."
Also on his list are fashion-watch maker Fossil, and energy producers Aegean Marine Petroleum Network and Atwood Oceanics.
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