However, his strategy is to find pockets of opportunity. For instance, an investment theme he is pursuing now focuses on the globalization of platforms for building automobiles. Ford and GM, he says, have for many years built one model car in Asia, another model in Europe and a different one in the U.S. But the automakers are now beginning to standardize the way they build vehicles and parts. While only 10% of the cars manufactured by the big automakers are built on global platforms today, by 2014 some two-thirds of them will be. The theme benefits not just the carmakers but parts and electronic components makers as well.

"There are still interesting opportunities, and there are some economies, like Indonesia, that are booming," says Levitt. His firm's track record since inception in 2003 sports an 11.25% annualized return. 

Editor-at-large Andrew Gluck, a veteran financial writer, owns Advisor Products Inc., a marketing technology company serving 1,800 advisory firms. 

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