Massucci's Take: Is tech back? A talk with Ryan Jacob


Ryan Jacob was arguably the most popular mutual fund manager a decade ago when, while still in his 20s, he ran one of the few funds focused on internet stocks. Kinetics Asset Management's Internet Fund was the best performing U.S. equity fund in 1998, enjoying a 198 percent return. It rose over 500 percent in the 18-month span from 1998 through mid-1999.

Jacob, who was clearly in the right sector at the right time, was seen as a wunderkind and admired for his hot hand and ability to manage money in a volatile growth industry. In July 1999, he founded his own investment firm and launched the Jacob Internet Fund (JAMFX) and had $300 million under management within weeks. When the internet bubble burst in 2000, the fund dropped about 90 percent. Since then, the best year for the Jacob Internet Fund was 2003, when it doubled.

Jacob, now 39, has been managing money while the technology industry has skyrocketed, crashed and recovered. He manages the $40 million fund, which has rallied more than 50 percent this year, beating the Nasdaq, which is up almost 30 percent.

I thought it would be a good time to catch up with Jacob to find out if he thinks the tech rally this year will continue and how the current rally is different, or similar, to the growth in the tech sector seen a decade ago.