Birgit Kuester February 25, 2020 Mutual Fund
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.
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
In recent commentary, insiders have adopted the following opinions on mutual funds. "Most investors in mutual funds have no idea what they are invested in, which is the way the industry wants it." In addition, mutual funds are troubled because the rewarded for the amount of money they Attract, not the amount of money they earn.
For instance Morningstar gives one to five stars as ratings. The score the company first gets on the risk of the fund is what the system is based on. The performance of the fund for the previous five years is then taken away from the original rating. The reliability of this system is not very good as the performance is based on past numbers and can not accurately predict the future earnings or losses on these funds.
With over 6,000 mutual funds available, it may be tempting to pick funds from a popular star or index rating system. Savvy investors, however, balance multiple factors in their selection process. Ratings represent only the historical performance of funds and cannot predict the future. Performance consistency, management skill, and expense limitations are among the many factors that influence a funds prospects. Each must be carefully evaluated to improve your chances of finding a fund to outperform the market.
The obvious advantage of mutual funds is that they allow you to pool your money with other investors and leave the decision making to someone else. You do not have to spend your days conducting in-depth analysis of stocks and other investments. You simply invest in a mutual fund and let the manager make the decision for you. That is the theory, but of course we all know we are going to have to do some research before we invest in a mutual fund. How much mutual fund analysis is appropriate before making an investment?