Thurman Smith, principal of Equity Fund Research, came to fund analysis via stints as a research computer systems analyst at fund management firms Loomis Sayles and Fidelity. At Loomis after the 1973-1974 crash, he noticed the Lipper reports showing funds that did quite well before, during and after the crash. This was not long after completing an MBA program in investments at Babson College - where the gospel was that return and risk go hand in hand. But here was evidence that some managers could beat the market without high risk. He decided to build his own extensive fund and market database, then the modeling software to find and rate the best-managed funds. Realizing that he had the key to selecting and upgrading funds, he left Fidelity In 1980 and used his research resources to manage private accounts, then launched Equity Fund Outlook in 1988. Equity Fund Outlook has been among the top-performing fund newsletters over trailing five-year periods, as reported in the Hulbert Financial Digest until the last issue in October, 2008.