Birgit Kuester January 21, 2020 Mutual Fund
Index funds provide a static and very transparent investment portfolio. They also offer very low turnover of securities due to less buying and selling. This allows them to keep operating expenses at a minimum and usually substantially lower than their managed counterparts. The fact that they represent the entire stock or bond holdings of the index provides great diversification, which can also be a disadvantage.
SEC Chairman Arthur levitt, Jr. warned of growing unfairness in the relationship between individual investors and mutual funds in January 2001. Mr. Levitt made the following comment: "THERE ARE A NUMBER OF INSTANCES THAT, QUITE FRANKLY, DO NOT HONOR AN INVESTOR`S RIGHTS. INSTANCES WHERE...HIDDEN COSTS HURT AN INVESTORS BOTTOM LINE, WHERE SPIN AND HYPE MAKSE THE TRUE PERFORMANCE OF A MUTUAL FUND, AND WHRE ACCOUNTING TRICKS AND SLEIGHT OF HAND DRESS UP A FUND`S FINANCIAL RESULTS"
In recent commentary, insiders have adopted the following opinions on mutual funds. "Most investors in mutual funds have no idea what they are invested in, which is the way the industry wants it." In addition, mutual funds are troubled because the rewarded for the amount of money they Attract, not the amount of money they earn.
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.
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.
The five costs of mutual fund investing are: 1. Tax Costs - excessive capital gains from active trading. 2. Transaction Costs - the cost of trades themselves. 3. Opportunity Costs - dollars taken out of portfolios for a fund`s safekeeping. 4. Sales Charges - both seen and hidden. 5. Expense Ration ("management fees") - no end to increases in site.