Brigitte Werfel January 16, 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.
Once you have discovered which index your fund tends to follow it will be obvious on the charts then pick one or two funds that follow the $RUT, one or two that follow the $MID, one or two that follow the EFA foreign funds are usually easy to spot by their names , and finally one or two that follow the NASDAQ.
Many investors try to play the game of picking individual stocks rather than picking solid mutual funds and then often wonder why they experience both difficulty and stress making money in the stock market. I tell investors that they should not be afraid to own individual stocks if they are willing to take the time to learn enough about the individual company or stock to make a rational businessman`s decision. And do not forget about valuation.
Check out the fund`s cost of ownership. While you can not predict a fund`s performance, you can control the ongoing expenses. Since expenses impact your ability to grow investments over time, select a fund with low costs. Check the expense ratio, sales fees, trading costs, and 12b-1 fees charged to cover the marketing, distribution and sales. Everything counts against your bottom line - keep it small as possible. When possible, choose funds with expenses less than their category average.
If any of this scares you, rethink your investments. The asset allocation model where they show you a pie chart with so many stocks, so many bonds and maybe 3% cash is a failure. This was designed for institutions with 100% investible assets, not for individuals with lifestyle needs and expenses. You will never see any real estate in that pie chart, yet for most Americans, their home is worth more than their other investments
Index Funds: Any fund that is made up of a static portfolio structured to mirror the investments of a proposed market index is classified as an index fund. There are small cap indices, bond indices, international indices, specialty indices and many others. The most widely used is the S&P 500 index where the fund uses the same 500 stocks that are included in the Standard and Poors 500. These portfolios are only changed when and if the index changes its holdings which allows for a very tax efficient, low turnover investment.
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