Brigitte Werfel January 23, 2020 Mutual Fund
Make sure the management team has not changed by the way. You do not want to pay for fabulous past results only to find out there is a new portfolio manager in town running your mutual fund. Watch out for the fad funds by the way. By the time an entire mutual fund sector is hot, and ripping up the charts with performance, it is too late 90% of the time, for you to be an investor. You do not want start becoming an investor in gold as it passes $1200 per ounce. That is the time you want to be thinking about exiting, not entering.
Funds are usually chosen by those that want to cut down on the risk. The diversity of mutual funds allows for investing in more than one source. A mix of bonds, money market securities or stocks make up a fund in order to cut the risk of putting everything in one place. They are rated in order to help the investor chose which funds are right for them. Each company has its own standards for determining a funds rating.
Dismiss recent results Past performance is no indicator of future results. No truer words could ever be spoken and they are included in every mutual fund advertisement. But it is extremely difficult to ignore these numbers which the fund companies conveniently place in big bold letters - immediately above the fine print warning us. Nothing is more attractive than a fund with a great record, especially given the dismal performance in the market.
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
The trading strategy for each group will be different. One group may only require a "minimum hold" of 30 days while another may require 90 days. A `dividend` group may result in very infrequent trades while a `sector` group may trade more frequently because of changes in the economy and offer opportunities for large gains, large profits. You may, as I have, have two or even three different strategies for the same group of funds, one based on more frequent trading then the other.
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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