Sophie Moench February 25, 2020 Mutual Fund
Investing in stocks, mutual funds and exchange traded funds can be a great way to build wealth, but timing the markets can be detrimental to your bottom line and extremely hard to do. While there are many services out there that claim to accurately pick the highs and lows, the reality is that very few individual investors can accurately use market timing effectively.
Index Funds Of course for many of us, our primary investment vehicles are index funds. These are funds which are designed to match the performance of a major stock index. This takes the decision making away from a money manager. It also makes deciding on a fund very easy. If I want to match the market, I simply buy the index I want to match and move on with my life. In many ways this is a win-win.
You can develop investment strategies for mutual funds. These strategies can be aimed at conserving your money or even to substantially grow your funds. Previously in "Getting Started with Mutual Funds" I discussed the key factors involved with investing in mutual funds. With these in mind you can either get going or perhaps re-think your approach to mutual fund investing.
Seek consistency Evaluate a mutual fund`s performance beyond just the recent year. Any fund can get lucky, but it`s the rare firm that prove themselves year after year. Examining a fund`s long term performance can answer the question of consistency. If the performance was good, was it repeatable due to skill - or merely a spike due to dumb luck?
Past performance can provide a good starting point, but nothing more. In fact, past performance predicts losers better than the winners. A 1998 study from fund-tracking firm Morningstar, demonstrated the top fund performers rarely hold their spot on the charts. The study also concludes bottom performers rarely did anything but continue to sink. Never assume the past will repeat itself, yet, ignore a fund`s historical record at your own peril. Avoid the perennial losers.
These two lists illustrate just nine (9) possible groups. The next step is to either use software that enables you to find the best future performers within each group or perform fundamental analysis, studying the track record of the manager and his longevity managing the fund as one basic fundamental method. Technical analysis of the funds performance as compared to the markets as a whole is the method I use. You also need rules for when to sell and when to hold, because failing to sell when you should is what creates losses in your pocketbook.