Sarah Neudorf February 12, 2020 Mutual Fund
All the matters are the long term trends, and in the long run stable value funds barely keep up with inflation. Unless you are talking about a lifestyle fund, or a couple of very broad based index funds, you are probably not going to get the diversification you need from such a small number of funds. Generally speaking, if you are given the choice between two funds that cover the same asset class, you probably want to pick the one with the lower cost. Select funds that cover different asset classes.
Picking mutual funds is a challenging task. You will need to spend time learning, researching, investigating, analyzing, and comparing. The key is to develop your own methodology using some of the components listed here along with your own judgment and decision capabilities. Review your investment plan and fund selection criteria at least once a year. Make sure the plan still matches your goals and the funds match your expectations.
There are thousands of mutual funds available. Thousands. But you only need groups with as few as ten and maybe at the most a hundred funds in order to give you good investment choices. In addition to the groups based on "source" you can create groups based on class or industry. You can do this by going to any of the broker sites or magazines I discussed previously and sorting or filtering on these criteria, for example: • Bonds - for a constant conservative investment • Dividends - for a constant, possibly conservative, cash flow of 3% - 8%. • Domestic - to find the best of what is happening in the USA. • Foreign - to invest in the best or emerging oversea markets
Before you invest in a fund, look at the fees the company charges. You will notice these fees in the prospectus. If you are ambitious, you will be able to find the fee structure online. Always go with a fund that has a low expense ratio and stay away from 12b-fees. When buying mutual funds you will have various types of choose from. There are money market funds, municipal bond funds, corporate bond funds, mortgage-backed securities funds, U.S. Government bond funds, stock funds, and index funds.
Watch for a solid record of returns, rather than funds showing spurts of great years followed by fits of lousy ones. Compare the funds returns to a relevant benchmark index, (large-cap vs. S&P 500, small-cap to the Russell Index, etc.) Solid funds should not only consistently beat the benchmarks, they should also beat their peers.
Unless you have a crystal ball or a time machine, accurately predicting the future gyrations of a stock or the markets is nearly impossible. It may be slightly easier to follow the trend and reallocate your assets close to bottoms and close to tops, but if you are an average investor, you do not have the time, temperament or training to do it well. Most financial and investment advisers do not either.