October 7, 2013 |
Continuing a trend that dates back at least to the dawn of recorded time, actively managed mutual funds--those run by professional stock pickers--recently have been trounced by the market averages. As my colleague Tom Petruno documented over the weekend, the trend holds month-in, month-out, over five years, over 10 years--in fact, pretty much always. Tom reminds us that the most recent results feed into a debate over "passive" versus "active" investing that has been going on for 40 years.
January 10, 2012 |
Exchange-traded mutual funds that use risky strategies in pursuit of outsized returns are not making the stock market more volatile, according to a study by Morningstar Inc. The report argues that so-called leveraged ETFs, which attempt to magnify underlying moves in stock prices, have had little effect on the market's heightened volatility in the last few years. Instead, the study says, fundamental factors such as corporate earnings play a far bigger role. The fund-tracking firm is walking a fine line of sorts in its report.
July 26, 2012 |
The appeal of target-date mutual funds is their exposure to so many parts of the financial markets. It's also what caused target funds to lose money in the second quarter. The average target fund lost 2.8% from April to June, dragged down by the nearly 7% loss in their non-U.S. stock holdings, according to Ibbotson Associates. That was a reversal from their 9% rally in the first quarter. Target funds are now down over the past 12 months, with the average fund off 0.5%. That's also driven by non-U.S.
January 11, 2009 |
Mutual fund investors should always take note of what investing fees they're being charged, particularly in this tough investing climate. Transactions: The costs associated with an individual investor's transactions and account are listed in a fee table, located near the front of a fund's prospectus, under the heading "Shareholder Fees." They include: * Sales loads: A fee charged to compensate the brokers.
October 15, 1990
Average total return, including dividends, in percent for periods ended Thursday, Oct. 11. Category (No. of funds) Week Year-to-date 12 months International: foreign +0.65% -11.1% -5.1% stocks only (56) Utilities (15) -1.14 -8.2 -3.1 Global: U.S. and foreign -1.23 -12.5 -9.5 stocks (42) Fixed income (535) -1.25 +0.2 +1.4 Balanced: stock and bond (60) -3.12 -7.8 -7.8 Equity income (66) -3.80 -13.7 -14.1 Natural resources (19) -4.36 -6.6 -1.2 Health/biotechnology (9) -4.46 +1.0 +3.
April 5, 2013 |
In the early 1990s, executives of the now-defunct American Stock Exchange hatched a revolutionary idea: a hybrid mutual fund-type investment that would trade like a stock. But in an era when hot-handed mutual fund managers had rock-star status, the concept of the “exchange-traded fund,” or ETF - low-cost, pre-programmed portfolios designed to simply replicate a broad or narrow swath of the market - didn't get a lot of people's hearts pounding. Twenty years later, however, exchange-traded funds have ballooned into a $1.4-trillion industry in the U.S. and $2 trillion worldwide.