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BUSINESS
March 13, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton
It looks like actively managed stock funds can't beat the market -- even when the market itself is struggling. More than four out of five actively managed U.S. stock funds trailed their underlying indexes in 2011, even though the stock market plodded through an uninspiring year, according to new research . An analysis by Standard & Poor's Corp. found that 84% of funds underperformed last year. That's even worse than their dismal showings in the recent past. Over the last three years, 57% of funds trailed their indexes.
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BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Tom Petruno
Why bother with a "go-anywhere" mutual fund? For many investors the answer may be that there's no need. If you have a well-diversified portfolio and a truly long-term focus, your asset mix may suit you just fine. Older investors who are more fearful of severe losses, however, may have a different view. Ditto for investors who are looking to put money to work now but are wary with many stocks near record highs and with bond yields depressed. Chris Hauswirth, a principal at investment advisory firm Wetherby Asset Management in San Francisco, said he uses go-anywhere funds for 5% to 10% of some clients' portfolios, as a way to add diversification.
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BUSINESS
October 7, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
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.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Tom Petruno
Over the last six years, roaring bears and raging bulls both have had their turns to be right about financial markets. But investing success in the next market phase could be far more about pinpointing individual opportunities than riding a wave. This is when it should pay for a money manager to have maximum flexibility: the option to go almost anywhere with investors' dollars in search of decent returns. That could include stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities, for example.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton
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.
BUSINESS
January 10, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton
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.
BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Tom Petruno
Over the last six years, roaring bears and raging bulls both have had their turns to be right about financial markets. But investing success in the next market phase could be far more about pinpointing individual opportunities than riding a wave. This is when it should pay for a money manager to have maximum flexibility: the option to go almost anywhere with investors' dollars in search of decent returns. That could include stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities, for example.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2002 | Bloomberg News
The number of U.S. households owning mutual funds fell for the first time in 15 years in the 12 months ended in May, amid the longest stock decline since the Great Depression. About 54.2 million households, or 50% of those in the U.S., owned mutual funds in May 2002, according to the Investment Company Institute, the industry's trade group. That's 3.7% less than a year earlier. The number of households owning funds doubled in less than 10 years from 25.8 million, or 27% of the country, in 1992.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2007
The U.S. stock market in 2006 had its best year since 2003, but it was a challenging year for many stock mutual funds. The Times' annual fund review will appear in the Business section Monday. It will include tables showing how 5,400 stock and bond funds performed in the fourth quarter, all of 2006, and the last three years, and listings of the top-performing funds for the year in more than 50 major categories. The report also will include articles providing review and outlook.
NATIONAL
March 4, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday expanded protections for whistle blowers covered by an anti-fraud law passed following the collapse of energy giant Enron, ruling outside accountants, auditors and lawyers cannot be fired or punished for exposing fraud. The 6-3 decision will have an effect in the mutual fund and financial services industries, the court said, because they rely heavily on outside contractors and advisers. The case before the court arose when two employees of a firm that did research for the Fidelity family of mutual funds revealed the funds were overstating expenses.
NEWS
January 5, 2014 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK - It's been a fantastic time for stocks, but it's been even better for shares of small companies like Zale Corp. The small Texas company's shares rocketed more than 280% last year, propelled by investors who expect lovebirds to increasingly shell out big bucks for gold rings and diamond-encrusted pendants at Zale's jewelry stores and shopping center kiosks around the country. Investors have piled into Zale despite the company's shaky earnings history - it posted four straight years of losses before returning to profitability in 2013.
BUSINESS
October 7, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
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.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2013 | By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
The appeal of age-based mutual funds is that investors generally don't have to worry about them. The funds are geared toward long-term goals such as retirement or a child's college education, and automatically shift into more conservative holdings over time. That normally means selling stocks and buying bonds. Today's ultra-low interest rates, however, pose a challenge for investors in these funds. As the U.S. economy gains steam over time, interest rates are likely to rise.
BUSINESS
January 1, 2013 | By Tom Petruno
Global financial markets overcame a torrent of fears in 2012 to post strong gains nearly across the board. Returns on most categories of stock mutual funds were in double digits. The average domestic equity fund generated a total return (price change plus dividend income) of 15%, after losing 2.5% in 2011, according to investment research firm Morningstar Inc. It was the third calendar-year gain in the last four years, as the bull market that began in March 2009 rolled on. Bond mutual funds also posted positive returns as market interest rates continued to slide, boosting the value of older bonds issued at higher rates.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2013 | By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times
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.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Another hedge fund manager is joining Bill Ackman in the ranks of Herbalife haters. Whitney Tilson, who helps run three hedge funds and two mutual funds through T2 Partners, said in a mass email Wednesday that he's short “a tiny smidge” of Herbalife and other so-called multilevel marketers who sell products through individual distributors. Herbalife, the Los Angeles provider of health supplements, has seen its stock tumble 40% in four trading days after Ackman last week accused the company of operating as a pyramid scheme.
BUSINESS
October 8, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Hiring a financial planner isn't just for the wealthy anymore. Regular investors also can get reasonably priced help, business reporter Walter Hamilton writes in The Times' Mutual Fund Quarterly Report. As a legion of do-it-yourself investors gets older and their portfolios grow larger, many people find they need guidance from a financial planner. Fortunately, investment advice doesn't have to break the bank. You can turn to online-brokerage and mutual fund companies, fee-only financial planners, and even from an emerging crop of websites popping up on the Internet.
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