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This T. Rowe Price tech fund returned 75% in 2020 by getting in early on Zoom, other tech breakouts

A screen shows the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the close of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., November 22, 2016.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Alan Tu, a portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price, had some very happy clients in 2020.

The firm’s Global Technology fund (PRGTX), managed by Tu, returned a whopping 75.6% last year. The fund outperformed 81% of its peers in the Technology category, according to Morningstar. It also beat the category’s Morningstar U.S. Technology Total Return benchmark index by 27.6 percentage points.

But that sharp outperformance wasn’t driven by any sophisticated quantitative models. Instead, Tu used something that has been in place for years at T. Rowe Price to manage such returns: a commitment to traditional stock-picking.