Hideki Wakabayashi sat through 500 meetings with company executives before settling on the stocks that produced a 13 percent advance last year for the long-short equity hedge fund he runs at Tokyo-based Finnowave Investments.

Toru Hashizume matched Wakabayashi’s performance with a 13 percent return for his Ginga Service Sector Fund by following a similar path. He said he sifted through 800 stocks before betting on about 70.

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