Heike Moeller February 24, 2020 Mutual Fund
Taxes are often overlooked and can substantially reduce your after-tax gain unless investing within a tax-deferred, retirement account. Avoid funds with large distributions (capital gain payments) by searching for funds with low turnover. Since buying and selling stock incurs transaction costs, lower turnover translates to lower expenses and lower capital gains taxes. Fund managers who seek to boost returns through repeatedly buying and selling securities are no friend of yours.
Lipper Inc ranks its funds based on prior performance. The worse the performance the higher the rating to indicate a larger risk, the lower the rating the better the performance has been. The total return, preservation, consistency of the return, its tax efficiency and the expense are all factored in to determine the funds actual risks. This method should be more accurate in determining the actual risk and profit factor involved in the mutual fund.
Unfortunately, history seems to suggest not. Despite the fact that tens of thousands of individuals make their professions trying to beat the markets, almost none of them do so on a consistent basis. Many will have good runs, but ultimately no one seems to have a proven formula for beating the markets. Usually the hero of a bull market turns into the villain once the market turns on him or her.
Always review the experience and performance of the fund`s managers. When you buy a mutual fund, you are actually investing in the experience, skill, and savvy that the manager brings to the table. When the manager leaves, the fund performance generally goes with him. How many years has the manager been leading the fund? The longer (if generating strong results), the better. And keep an eye out for the gurus. The industry`s better managers are well-respected, high-regarded, and often quoted in the press. You will find multiple articles and even manager profiles published in the popular financial magazines and newspapers.
Unless you have a crystal ball or a time machine, accurately predicting the future gyrations of a stock or the markets is nearly impossible. It may be slightly easier to follow the trend and reallocate your assets close to bottoms and close to tops, but if you are an average investor, you do not have the time, temperament or training to do it well. Most financial and investment advisers do not either.
One way around the round-trip trap is instead of buying the same fund back (because now that energy fund is going up again) is to buy a similar fund from a different mutual fund family; in other words switch from ABC fund company to XYZ, as an example.