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Mutual Funds & Exchange, Traded Funds (ETFs)

The overall goal of an investment program is to build a diversified portfolio containing multiple asset classes with the lowest possible fees and the greatest possible tax efficiency. Individual circumstances and preferences will determine how gaps in asset allocation are best filled. The frequency of investments (lump sum, periodically, or regularly) is one factor that will strongly influence which investment type is most appropriate.

Buy the ETF, Not the Mutual Fund” 20151218 WSJ
This article’s was prompted by some recent unfavorable events in some mutual funds.

The High Cost of Investing Like a Daredevil” 20150606 NYT
Past performance may provide a baseline for mutual funds.  Past performance is not a guaranty for future returns.

How Many Mutual Funds Routinely Rout the Market? Zero” 20150314 NYT
For years there have been studies about how few mutual funds do better than the market.  It seems each year the number decreases.

“When to give your fund manger the axe” 20120108MW
The points in this article are often forgotten.

“Target Funds End Year Far From Bull’s Eye” 20120110SM
Target date funds may be easy to use, but they may not be best for you.

“Price Charts Can Misled” 20111205WSJ
Charts often reflect changes in the price of the fund.  It is more important to focus on total return.

“More Funds Dying for Fresh Blood” 20111222WSJ
There are more than 200 ETFs that do not have enough assets or trading activity to survive.   These fund will have wide spreads increasing the cost to the investor.  Tax issues need to be dealt with when thes funds close.  Look for these issues when you are selecting ETFs to invest in or when reviewing the ones you own.

“Target-date funds not as certain as marketed”20110805CT
You must monitor these funds for changes in how they invest.  Changes can result in unanticipated consequences.

“5 reasons to buy new funds, ETFs, and 5 not to” 20110714MW
Almost daily new funds and ETFs are introduced.  You should not buy them just because they are “new”.

“Behind The Rush Into E.T.F.’s” 20110710NYT
An investor must understand the product and purpose of the product to avoid self-defeating trading.

“When ETFs Are Lenders” 20110706WSJ
The number of ETFs has dramatically increased.  Some funds are designed for traders rather than investors.  ETFs that sound similar may operate differently.  This article discuss one aspect of ETF operation that may result in different results.

“How ETFs Have Reshaped Investing” 20110418WSJ
Although there are many benefits, investors should recognize the pitfalls and limitations.

“The ABCs of ETFs” 20110418 WSJ
Words of caution for investors.

“For fund investors: timing is everything” 20110403 MW
“Studies show that investors actually don’t capture the full performance of their mutual funds”

“The Cruel Math of Big Losses” 20091102 WSJ

“Five Concerns about Target-Date Funds” 20091030 MsA

“Active Management Loses in Risk Study” WSJ 20091008

“Fund Investors Can Lose Out When Portfolios Are Merged” 20090902WSJ

“Did You Do as Well as Your Fund?” MS20090807

“The No in Innovation” MSA20090730

“Congress Overhauls Your Portfolio” 20100717 WSJ
This is a summary highlighting some changes that impact: Mutual Funds, Retirement Plans, Hedge Funds and other private investments, Individual stocks, Derivatives, and Brokerage accounts.

“Just How Lucky is Your Mutual Fund Manger” 20100624 USNWR
A recent study by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French finds luck seems to have more to do with fund managers’ performance than ability.

“Watch Out for Hidden Tax Traps inside ETFs” 20100417WSJ

“Bond ETF Buyers Must Stay on guard for Hidden Risks” 20100301 WSJ

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