How To Select A Mutual Fund
One of the most common ways of selecting a mutual fund is to invest with the crowd in today's hot funds. Unfortunately, jumping from one winning fund to another is a recipe for disaster. The mutual funds that the crowd follows typically have had a hot recent performance and tend to gather all the new mutual fund sales.
Investors as a whole are primarily allocating their new investments to a small number of mutual funds and to a smaller number of mutual fund companies. Investors have invested over $400 billion in the 2843 different mutual funds, but one-third of those assets are invested in only 50 of those funds and one-half of those assets are invested in the largest 100 funds.
There are benefits to following the market leaders. Larger mutual fund companies and larger funds have the ability to reduce costs and attract the best professional money managers. However, the biggest limitation is that today's better-selling mutual fund may not be tomorrow's winner. This is true for any mutual fund but it seems to plague the best seller, and the one that garners the most attention, the most often.
So buying the equity fund that was yesterday's best-seller isn't a strategy that produces excellent returns. You do not have to go fully in the opposite direction and ignore these hot funds, but you should understand their limitations and strengths. They became best-selling funds because they have merit, but you have to access that merit within your own well-diversified portfolio, and not the crowd's current investment trend.
Ways To Earn Good Profit Out Of Mutual Fund It Is More Of Commonsense Than An Art Or Science
Mutual funds are the vehicle that help normal individuals to invest together in equity and debt market without taking too much of risk. The mutual funds are created with predetermined investment objectives, to suit different kind of investors. More over mutual funds are made in such a way that they achieve a variety of risk/reward objectives. However, the right way to benefit from mutual funds is to balance the risk as well as the potential to earn. That's the reason, identifying the right level of risk tolerance, choosing the right schemes and allocation to the right asset class remains the most important factors in ensuring success from a mutual fund portfolio.
First point is the right funds in your Portfolio
When we select funds we need to make sure that we need to have right mix of right funds. For that we need to keep in mind your profile and the kind of fund that matches your profile. If you are a conservative investor, the composition of your portfolio would be different from someone who may have different risk profile and time horizon such as aggressive.
Moreover If you have created a portfolio of different equity funds, and wish to invest more in equity over a period of time. Make sure that you keep an eye over the exposure to all the sectors in which the funds have invested in. we need to look over the fund houses and fund managers styles, strategies, and philosophies. There is a difference between different fund manager's style and strategies to a good level. The fund houses are very particular to their fund management philosophies and management style. The fund management style is further reflected in the performance of the funds they have.
As far as fund management style is considered we need to look at the performance of their funds over a period of time. To perform consistently over a period of time is not an easy task. Only few funds have been able to perform at a consistent rate. These fund houses and fund managers do follow certain styles which further become the core of the fund philosophies
As a Tax payer - Make use of its hidden potential
Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) are the best instrument that provides an investment option that provides you an affective and safe way to investing in equity market and save taxes. If we take this particular fund as a product it is quiet sure to give good returns over a period of time. Over a period of time equities have the potential to provide better returns compared to other instruments. These ELSS funds being equity oriented provide returns which can be really appreciable. ELSS have the potential to provide better returns than most of the options under Section 80C.
One of the important features is the tax efficiency in terms of returns earned through them. It is important considering that ELSS also aims to distribute income by way of dividend periodically depending on the distributable surplus. Moreover an SIP in any ELSS scheme will help you to save more by investing more, as you save more of taxes. More over the long-term capital gains can be very attractive and is again tax free.
Re-balance your portfolio if required
Ensure that the exposure of your equity portfolio to different market segments i.e. large cap, mid cap and small cap is in the right proportion. If not, you need to realign it according to your risk profile, time period and investment objective. You might need to scuffle the portfolio a bit in order to get it in right shape. An existing investor, need to make sure that the portfolio does not include too much of funds without any proper planning and allocation. The first step in towards rebalancing your portfolio is checking out which funds are not performing up to the mark. For this, the right way would be to compare the performance of your schemes with the benchmark and other funds in the same group. In the case of some non-performing schemes we need to remove them out through the redemption process in phases. We need to take notice towards the exposure to different sectors in the portfolio . While rebalancing the portfolio, the focus should be on those schemes in the portfolio that have been performing consistently and have a good quality portfolio.
Operating Mutual Funds How These Profit Exploding Money Makers Actually Work
Although investing in mutual funds isn't the type of subject associated with wild parties and celebrations - it is something the serious investor should consider as a way of increasing their total worth.
"But what EXACTLY is a mutual fund" I hear you ask - "how does it work, who does what and how much do they cost?"
Hang on, slow down - one question at a time please.
What exactly is a mutual fund?
Mutual funds are sold in shares to the public, allowing them to own different percentages of the fund depending on the amount they invest.
Pay more = own more. Own more = get more $$ back again (theoretically)
Stocks, bonds, money market securities and the like are purchased through the assets of these mutual funds in the financial markets. Shareholders indirectly own the assets held in the mutual fund, but the fund is guided by the investment company that finds the best way to earn the biggest return. (Indirectly owning the assets through these funds allows them to avoid the big tax hit.)
How does a Mutual Fund work?
Usually, mutual funds are also known as open-ended investment companies. This means that they constantly issue new shares and redeem existing shares, but not all mutual funds are open however. Some mutual funds are 'locked' where they no longer will take on new investors.
The fund's Net Asset Value is the key concept to understanding how a mutual fund operates. By this value you can determine the value of a share of the fund at any time. The market value of the fund's assets less any liabilities, divided by the number of shares outstanding is the formula to understand Net Asset Value.
If you work through that it will show you exactly how much each share in the fund is worth when you are looking to invest in them. By comparing this number over time you can see the returns earned in a percentage. This is generally all done for you on a funds website or on any of the mutual fund sites that feature stats.
Who does what?
Mutual funds basically take your money, combine it with the money of other investors like you and then invest the total pool of money in investments with the best possible return. The returns from the fund are then split to the accounts that bought in by the amount of shares that each person owns. The fund managers then take their cut based on the fees that they charge you and you get your return. These guys are worth it for the money they make you, so why not let them drive the car for a while and let you get the glory?
Different investment plans are a staple of the field, allowing investors to do so on a regular amount weekly, monthly, or however else you want to set it up. Continuously invested accounts tend to get a higher yield on average, but if you don't have the ability to do that, you can still make money. Dollar cost averaging should be your goal; it is the strategy of the top investment experts in the country.
How much do they cost?
Different mutual funds have different types of fees involved with them as well. Some will charge you an up front percentage of your investment (front load).
Some will charge you a percentage of the investment when sold, this is a back end load. Then there are no-load funds which charge you nothing more than the annual operating fees. An individual should seek to only use the no load funds since it saves a lot of your money. There are really no advantages to using a loaded fund unless it offers some incredibly returns. But normally you can find the same returns by several different fund companies.
So hunt around, compare not only price but also service and past record to date. And remember - a mutual fund is still based on products themselves that can reduce in value as well as increase - so never invest more than you can afford to be without, just in case!!
Hedge Funds Establishing A New Frontier
It is difficult to provide a general definition of a hedge fund. Initially, hedge funds would sell short the stock market, thus providing a "hedge" against any stock market declines. Today the term is applied more broadly to any type of private investment partnership. There are thousands of different hedge funds globally. Their primary objective is to make lots of money, and to make money by investing in all sorts of different investments and investments strategies. Most of these strategies are more aggressive than than the investments made by mutual funds.
A hedge fund is thus a private investment fund, which invests in a variety of different investments. The general partner chooses the different investments and also handles all of the trading activity and day-to-day operations of the fund. The investor or the limited partners invest most of the money and participate in the gains of the fund. The general manager usually charges a small management fee and a large incentive bonus if they earn a high rate of return.
While this may sound a lot like a mutual fund, there are major differences between mutual fund and hedge fund:
1. Mutual funds are operated by mutual fund or investment companies and are heavily regulated. Hedge funds, as private funds, have far fewer restrictions and regulations.
2. Mutual fund companies invest their client's money, while hedge funds invest their client's money and their own money in the underlying investments.
3. Hedge funds charge a performance bonus: usually 20 percent of all the gains above a certain hurdle rate, which is in line with equity market returns. Some hedge funds have been able to generate annual rates of return of 50 percent or more, even during difficult market environments.
4. Mutual funds have disclosure and other requirements that prohibit a fund from investing in derivative products, using leverage, short selling, taking too large a position in one investment, or investing in commodities. Hedge funds are free to invest however they wish.
5. Hedge funds are not permitted to solicit investments, which is likely why you hear very little about these funds. During the previous five years some of these funds have doubled, tripled, quadrupled in value or more. However, hedge funds do incur large risks and just as many funds have disappeared after losing big.
Is An Index Mutual Fund The Best Choice For Long Term Investing
Do you believe that the world economy will grow? Do you believe that US economy will grow? I do. The major stock indexes are indicators of economy grow. You can make money use this opportunity buying index funds. Investing into index mutual funds is easy, interesting, and profitable. It takes 5 minutes every month! If you are long-term investor, index funds is for you!
It doesn't matter what index you choose. This index will grow due to economy sector grow rate. There are many indexes in the world. But how to get money from indexes grow?
There are many indexes mutual funds. Fund share price change accordance index performance. There are thousands of mutual funds have S&P 500 as a base of their portfolio. The differences from one fund to other are operating company and expenses. Choose fund with fell known operating company and smallest expenses.
Small expenses are very important. If fund have big expenses, the managers steal investors' money. Index fund manager don't buy expensive stock market researches, don't arrive at a difficult decision witch stock to buy. Index fund manager buy stock included into index only. It isn't expensive!
The best investment strategy for indexes mutual funds is to invest some dollar amount monthly. And be the long-term investor - invest for 10 years or more. Our computer modeling of this strategy shows that you will receive profit, if you invest on monthly base during 10 years. I can't give you guaranties that you will get profit but the probability of this is close to 100%.
And the last, if you can, diversify you portfolio. Divide you portfolio into three parts. Buy large capitalization company index fund (S&P 500, DJA), small capitalization index fund (S&P 600) and developed market index fund or international index fund. It makes you portfolio more profitable and more stable.
Market Timing With Your Mutual Funds
When investing in bonds, stocks, or mutual funds, investors have the opportunity to increase their rate of return by timing the market - investing when stock markets go up and selling before they decline. A good investor can either time the market prudently, select a good investment, or employ a combination of both to increase his or her rate of return. However, any attempt to increase your rate of return by timing the market entails higher risk. Investors who actively try to time the market should realize that sometimes the unexpected does happen and they could lose money or forgo an excellent return.
Timing the market is difficult. To be successful, you have to make two investment decisions correctly: one to sell and one to buy. If you get either wrong in the short term you are out of luck. In addition, investors should realize that:
1. Stock markets go up more often than they go down.
2. When stock markets decline they tend to decline very quickly. That is, short-term losses are more severe than short-term gains.
3. The bulk of the gains posted by the stock market are posted in a very short time. In short, if you miss one or two good days in the stock market you will forgo the bulk of the gains.
Not many investors are good timers. "The Portable Pension Fiduciary," by John H. Ilkiw, noted the results of a comprehensive study of institutional investors, such as mutual fund and pension fund managers. The study concluded that the median money manager added some value by selecting investments that outperform the market. The best money managers added more than 2 percent per year due to stock selection. However the median money manager lost value by timing the market. Thus, investors should realize that marketing timing can add value but that there are better strategies that increase returns over the long term, incur less risk, and have a higher probability of success.
One of the reasons why it is so difficult to time correctly is due to the difficulty of removing emotion from your investment decision. Investors who invest on emotion tend to overreact: they invest when prices are high and sell when prices are low. Professional money managers, who can remove emotion from their investment decisions, can add value by timing their investments correctly, but the bulk of their excess rates of return are still generated through security selection and other investment strategies. Investors who want to increase their rate of return through market timing should consider a good Tactical Asset Allocation fund. These funds aim to add value by changing the investment mix between cash, bonds, and stocks following strict protocols and models, rather than emotion-based market timing.
How To Avoid A Bad Mutual Fund
We have all heard the advantages of investing in a mutual fund over trying to pick individual stocks. First of all mutual funds hire professional analysts that are market experts and devout many hours of study to the various stocks. Unless you want to devout a large portion of your free time to the study of the financial reports, you probably won't have as much information to make a decision as a mutual fund manager.
Then there is the well documented advantage of diversification. Risk is reduced by holding several non correlated investments. Put simply, some go up, some go down and combined, the return levels off the fluctuations, or risk.
Finally, a mutual fund offers smaller investors a chance to invest in small increments rather than having to save a large chunk of cash to purchase 100 shares of stock.
Given the above advantages, it's no wonder that mutual funds have become a very popular form of investing. Now there are thousands of mutual funds to choose from, so how does one make a selection? Here are a few tips:
1.Do not be seduced to jump on the recently performing best fund. It may seem like the safe and rational thing to do, but like individual stocks, you want to buy low and sell high, not buy high and pray for more growth.
2.Even good funds may not be able to overcome the force of the overall market. You should be looking for funds that can exceed the broad market without increasing risk. Each fund has certain risk parameters that it is required to follow. Read the prospectus closely to understand what these are.
3.Limit the number of funds that you own. Unless you are trying to simply achieve the same returns as the broad market, diversifying into many mutual funds will not reduce your risk or increase your return by much.
4.Funds that become too popular and too big tend to slip in performance. There are several reasons for this.
Find more valuable mutual fund resources at www.best-mutual-fund.info
One final point to keep in mind is that the type of fund will totally depend on your investment objectives. There are certain funds that are designed for your objectives be they retirement, income, growth, funding the kids college, etc.
Mutual Funds An Introduction And Brief History
Each one of us does not have the expertise or the time to build and manage an investment portfolio. There is an excellent alternative available - mutual funds.
A mutual fund is an investment intermediary by which people can pool their money and invest it according to a predetermined objective.
Each investor of the mutual fund gets a share of the pool proportionate to the initial investment that he makes. The capital of the mutual fund is divided into shares or units and investors get a number of units proportionate to their investment.
The investment objective of the mutual fund is always decided beforehand. Mutual funds invest in bonds, stocks, money-market instruments, real estate, commodities or other investments or many times a combination of any of these.
The details regarding the funds' policies, objectives, charges, services etc are all available in the fund's prospectus and every investor should go through the prospectus before investing in a mutual fund.
The investment decisions for the pool capital are made by a fund manager (or managers). The fund manager decides what securities are to be bought and in what quantity.
The value of units changes with change in aggregate value of the investments made by the mutual fund.
The value of each share or unit of the mutual fund is called NAV (Net Asset Value).
Different funds have different risk - reward profile. A mutual fund that invests in stocks is a greater risk investment than a mutual fund that invests in government bonds. The value of stocks can go down resulting in a loss for the investor, but money invested in bonds is safe (unless the Government defaults - which is rare.) At the same time the greater risk in stocks also presents an opportunity for higher returns. Stocks can go up to any limit, but returns from government bonds are limited to the interest rate offered by the government.
History of Mutual Funds:
The first "pooling of money" for investments was done in 1774. After the 1772-1773 financial crisis, a Dutch merchant Adriaan van Ketwich invited investors to come together to form an investment trust. The goal of the trust was to lower risks involved in investing by providing diversification to the small investors. The funds invested in various European countries such as Austria, Denmark and Spain. The investments were mainly in bonds and equity formed a small portion. The trust was names Eendragt Maakt Magt, which meant "Unity Creates Strength".
The fund had many features that attracted investors:
-It has an embedded lottery.
-There was an assured 4% dividend, which was slightly less than the average rates prevalent at that time. Thus the interest income exceeded the required payouts and the difference was converted to a cash reserve.
-The cash reserve was utilized to retire a few shares annually at 10% premium and hence the remaining shares earned a higher interest. Thus the cash reserve kept increasing over time - further accelerating share redemption.
-The trust was to be dissolved at the end of 25 years and the capital was to be divided among the remaining investors.
However a war with England led to many bonds defaulting. Due to the decrease in investment income, share redemption was suspended in 1782 and later the interest payments were lowered too. The fund was no longer attractive for investors and faded away.
After evolving in Europe for a few years, the idea of mutual funds reached the US at the end if nineteenth century. In the year 1893, the first closed-end fund was formed. It was named the "The Boston Personal Property Trust."
The Alexander Fund in Philadelphia was the first step towards open-end funds. It was established in 1907 and had new issues every six months. Investors were allowed to make redemptions.
The first true open-end fund was the Massachusetts Investors' Trust of Boston. Formed in the year 1924, it went public in 1928. 1928 also saw the emergence of first balanced fund - The Wellington Fund that invested in both stocks and bonds.
The concept of Index based funds was given by William Fouse and John McQuown of the Wells Fargo Bank in 1971. Based on their concept, John Bogle launched the first retail Index Fund in 1976. It was called the First Index Investment Trust. It is now known as the Vanguard 500 Index Fund. It crossed 100 billion dollars in assets in November 2000 and became the World's largest fund.
Today mutual funds have come a long way. Nearly one in two households in the US invests in mutual funds. The popularity of mutual funds is also soaring in developing economies like India. They have become the preferred investment route for many investors, who value the unique combination of diversification, low costs and simplicity provided by the funds.
Why You Should Buy No Load Funds
Load is defined as the fee or the commission that an investor pays to a mutual fund at the time of purchasing or redeeming the shares of the mutual fund.
If the commission is charged when the investor buys the shares, it is known as a front-end load. On the other hand if the commission is charged when the investors redeems his shares, it is known as a back-end load.
Certain funds apply back-end loads only if the shares are redeemed within a specific time period after being bought.
The argument for applying loads on mutual fund transactions is that these loads will discourage investors from trading frequently in mutual funds. If the investors quickly move in and out of mutual funds, the funds have to maintain a high cash position to meet these redemptions, which in turn decreases the returns of the funds.
Also frequent trading means the expenses of the mutual funds go up.
There are various arguments against load funds:
-The fees that the mutual funds collect as loads are passed on to the fund brokers. The loads do not provide any incentive for the fund manager for better performance of the funds. In other words, a load fund has no reason why its managers should perform better than those of no-load funds.
-In the last few decades, no difference has been seen in the returns of load and no-load funds (if the loads are not considered.) When the loads are considered, the investors of load funds have actually gained less than the investors of no-load funds.
-When a sales person knows that he is going to get a commission from a load fund, he tends to push the load fund more - even when the load funds are performing poorly as compared to no-load funds.
-Loads are understated by mutual funds. If an investor invests $1000 in a fund with 5% front-end load, the actual investment is only $950. Thus his actual load is $50 in $950 investment - a 5.26% load.
If an investor is already invested in a load fund, it doesn't make sense to exit now. The load has already been paid for. The hold or sell decision should now only be based on what the investor thinks about the future performance of the fund. In a few funds, the exit load depends on the period for which the fund was held. Check the details of the fund prospectus for more information.
In most cases it is better to avoid load funds; however, investors should keep one thing in mind. Sometimes load funds can be a better choice than no-load funds. For example, an investor has a choice of two classes in a fund - class A and class B. Class A has 3% front-end load and Class B has no load. The investor however misses the fine print, which states that Class B has 1% 12b-1 annual fees.
If the fund will make 10% gains each year, its return in Class A (starting with actual amount invested $970) will be
($970) X (1.10) X (1.10) X (1.10) X (1.10) X (1.10) = $1562
For Class B, the returns will be
($1000) X (1.10) X (0.99) X (1.10) X (0.99) X (1.10) X (0.99) X (1.10) X (0.99) X (1.10) X (0.99) = $1532.
Thus the above example is an exception, where in the long run, the load fund will perform better than the no-load fund (with 12b-1 fees).
The fact is that a no-load fund cannot be considered a true no-load fund, if it charges fees from it's investors in the form of 12b-1 and other fees.
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