Brigitte Werfel February 27, 2020 Mutual Fund
The four-letter word that no business can live with out and is referred to as the lifeblood of any business is CASH. Accordingly, the individual investor is better served when they think like a business and create cash flows to deploy with leverage into arbitrages. What did he just say? If these terms are foreign to you and you claim to be an investor you better go look them up because they are as old as salt in the financial world and are the best investment advice three self-made billionaires on Forbes 400 ever heard. If you do not know how to enlist cash flow, arbitrage and leverage into your investment plan then seek out a firm that does before it is too late.
Mutual Fund returns are meeting the reasonable expectations of investors. In the greatest of bull markets, funds of all sizes seriously under performed the stock market. The inability of 85% of all fund managers even to match the performance of the market overall is the result of high fees (see above) short-term investment horizons and substantial transactions and tax costs.
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?
When investing in mutual funds, you should check around for different accounts that may be available. Some require you to place cash up front and others may not require any cash to open the account. You should do an extensive detailed search to find an account that fits your needs as well as your bank account. Your best research tool is the World Wide Web and it is right at your finger tips 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
READ CLOSELY: How do all these fund costs affect you? Well, with the expense ratio which averages 1.6% per year, sales charges 0.5%, turnover generated portfolio transactions costs 0.7%, and opportunity costs - when funds hold cash rather than remain fully invested in stocks - 0.3%. The average mutual fund investor loses 3.1% of their investment returns to these costs each and every year. While this might not seem like much on the surface, costs would consume 31% of a 10% market return. Add in the 1.5% capital gains tax bill that the average fund investor pays each year, and that figure shoots up to 46%, nearly half of a potential 10% return. Do you feel like you are taking one or two steps back while trying to go forward yet?
Spreadsheets & Formulas I have known plenty of investors who have invested extensive time, money and research into choosing their mutual funds. They have devised their own systems, using complex formulas and spreadsheets to allow them to make the right choice about their mutual funds. Ultimately however, this begs the question: If you have to do all this research, why are you buying mutual funds in the first place? For the amount of time you are spending on your decisions, you could buy individual stocks and not pay a money manager a fee.