Heike Moeller January 15, 2020 Mutual Fund
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.
But you have to remember those special mutual fund factors: minimum holding requirements once you buy a fund; short-term penalty fees if you sell too soon, and a possible frozen account if you re-buy a recently sold fund or funds too soon within 12 months. In other words either you or your software must track or base your selling and buying decisions upon how long you have owned a fund with a re-buy restriction on recently sold funds so you do not get caught in the round-trip trap.
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
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.
There are, in effect, FIVE separate bills that mutual funds charge. The best way to determine if something is effective for you or not is to dollarize the benefit or the burden. When you invest in the typical mutual fund (assuming outside of a qualified retirement plan), you face the following costs that erode your benefit and you probably were never aware of them, you will not find them in your prospectus and your broker is not going to sit down and tell you about them.
Because these funds are not actively managed, you cannot weed out under-performing securities from the overall index. This can and does have a detrimental effect on your returns. If market conditions warrant action, index funds usually will not be altered unless it happens to coincide with their regular re-balancing schedule.
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