Sophie Moench January 19, 2020 Mutual Fund
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.
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.
Most fund ratings are determined by the past performance of the company making the mutual funds available. The mutual funds performance is commonly tracked for a period of five to ten years in order to have a developed pattern emerge as to the performance. Being as the past is sometimes an indication of what the future holds it stands to reason that it should indicate future performance. This is not entirely the case as it is known that unless you can see into the future you will not know what the future holds with certainty.
Along with the increased buying and selling activities of an active manager comes a higher expense charge for those trading and management costs. Most actively managed funds have a 50 to 100% higher operating expense ratio than the average index fund. If you are not getting better returns, this can cost plenty over time. Also if your quality manager leaves the fund, you may need to find a better alternative.
Investing in mutual funds online are always subject fees and this can be a tricky subject. Brokers charge fees and these can widely differ depending on the broker you choose to go with. Always read the fine print with anything dealing with money exchanging hands. There could be hidden fees or fees for changing funds that are within the same fund family. Some brokers do not charge any fees and these may be the ones you should look into.
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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