Reaganomics in a Mutual Fund
By Amy Feldman

(MONEY Magazine) – Economist Arthur Laffer is best known for his 1974 scribble on a napkin about the trade-off between tax rates and tax receipts. Dubbed the Laffer Curve, it helped inspire the tax-cutting, supply-side school of thought known as Reaganomics. This past May, however, Laffer added a new role to his résumé: portfolio manager. His Huntington Macro 100 fund is not worth recommending--it's a start-up with just $11 million in assets, a 5.75% load and 1.92% in annual expenses--but we wondered why on earth Laffer wanted to run a mutual fund. "If economics cannot have practical, down-and-dirty applications," he answers, "what good is it?"

What good, indeed. Laffer's stock-picking strategy is as debatable as his economics. He eschews balance sheets, income statements and cash flows, chewing instead through big-picture trends like interest rates and oddball stuff like local tax rates where a company is located. His portfolio of 100 favored stocks from the S&P 500 favors financial firms, a bet that economic growth will eclipse rising rates. Investors who got in the day his fund opened would be up 4% for the first month, though still down after those nasty fees. Perhaps Laffer could lower costs by printing his annual reports on napkins? --AMY FELDMAN