Earnings growth alone isn't a measure of future success, he notes. Auer also wants to see sales growth because any company can increase earnings in a quarter by simply cutting costs. True earnings growth comes from solid sales, the Auers say.

The real challenge, Robert Auer says, is finding the earnings and sales growth, plus a cheap share price. That can be hard to find, given that most stocks trade at an equal multiple to their growth rate, he says. Google, for instance, has growth of 25%. Accordingly, its P/E was 30.4 in June.

"So if you're an investor, and you say, 'I want to buy Google' ... You have to pay for [that] growth. We refuse to do that," Robert Auer says.

The result is that many of the fund's investments are little-known companies that aren't yet on the market's radar.
One such stock is Hurco Companies, which manufactures metal bending machines. The company came out with the first computerized bending machines, which automated the bending process and enabled manufacturers to reduce their work force. The company had high enough earnings and sales and a low enough stock price that the Auers bought the stock and doubled their money, twice.  Sometime after the Auers sold the company for the second time, it fell on bad times because no one was buying new equipment. The stock price fell from $40 to $2.
Everyone thought the company was going bankrupt. But when it came out with a new machine, the company once again met the Auers' investment criteria, and they bought back in.

"When we bought the stock, everyone said the company was a piece of junk. They're never going to survive. All we knew was their sales were up, their earnings were up, and they couldn't make these machines fast enough," Bryan Auer said. "The stock doubled in a month or two."

Cal Maine Foods is another example. The Auers have bought the stock three times over because it keeps qualifying under their investment strategy. The company, one of the largest egg producers in the country, has grown rapidly because it keeps acquiring egg farms. The result is that it has grown from five million chickens to 25 million, and its stock price has risen from $4 to $40. In fact, the Auers have seen their investment in the company double, twice over, but according to their strict criteria, that's the point at which they sell it-once their investment doubles.

It's actually an aspect of their strategy for which they are chided. Why sell when the stock is rising? Instead of doubling your money, you can triple or quadruple it, their critics say. Bryan Auer, however, prefers a more conservative, more measured approach. Perhaps it's something he learned from his own father, Robert C. Auer, who lived life fast but died young, of a brain aneurism. The elder Auer, a salesman for Kraft Foods, used to drive his car 100 miles an hour up and down the dirt roads around Indiana with a burger in one hand, the steering wheel in the other, and a chunk of cheese in the back of his car, as he sped from local grocery to local grocery on his sales route. But one hot summer day, he went inside and took a big swig of cold water, and his brain ruptured.

"It was probably a ticking time bomb," said Robert Auer, who is his grandfather's namesake. "He was hard-charging, a type-A personality."

You can gain a lot of ground going 100 mph, but for Bryan and Robet Auer, plodding along at 60 mph is a safer bet.