Mutual Funds

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The Case for Closed-Ends

Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 12:00pm

You don’t hear much about them, but closed-end funds offer a way to buy a good portfolio of securities, often for cheap. When markets fall (as they recently did and will again) CEFs can be attractive alternatives.

The Era of Faster Trading

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 9:00am

The stock rally had a major interruption recently. The week ending Oct. 17 saw wild movements in stock prices. Is such volatility normal? Yes. Get used to it, because the market has changed and now emphasizes more speed.

Why Predictions Are Wrong

Submitted by Sterling Raskie on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 9:00am

Ever plan a picnic, family ballgame or just a few hours kicking back in the sunshine – and first check your TV, radio, laptop or smartphone for the weather forecast? Did the weatherman nail it? The same uncertainly blows across many predictions – including those for the stock market.

Why Is October Bad for Stocks?

Submitted by Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton on Friday, October 24, 2014 - 9:00am

Historically, October is the weakest period for stocks, which we have witnessed firsthand, yet again. The huge crashes of 1929 and 1987 happened during the 10th month. Why? There are several reasons, ranging from regularly occurring events to plain bad luck that for some reason lands this month.

High Fund Fees’ Ill Effects

Submitted by Ted Parchman on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 12:00pm

We can’t control the markets; we can control the costs that help or hinder our investment strategy. What may seem like only a slightly higher fee today can add up to a significant cut of your net return over time. And the first step in minimizing fees is spotting them.

The Asset Allocation Puzzle

Submitted by Neil Vannoy on Friday, November 14, 2014 - 9:00am

Your stock portfolio’s mix is vital. What too few appreciate is how the various pieces play off one another. A collection of stocks should be organic.

Portfolio asset allocation is a perennial hot topic. How big a proportion of stocks and of bonds? How should they shift as an investor ages? But there is widespread agreement that stocks play a key part in a retirement kitty. The question is: How best to distribute your stock holdings?

Investing Trends to Dislike

Submitted by Jim Ludwick on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 12:00pm

I’m uncomfortable about a number of issues now affecting financial consumers. Here are a few that possibly concern your very own investments – and future.

Target date funds (TDFs) insufficiently researched. A target date mutual fund contains a mixture of stocks, bonds and cash equivalents, rebalanced to reduce the number of risky assets as you age toward retirement.

Avoid International Stocks?

Submitted by Dan Crimmins on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 9:00am

War rages in the Middle East and Ukraine. An economic deceleration dogs China. Once again, Japan struggles to revive its economy. Europe heads into another economic slowdown. Why bother investing outside America?

Because the U.S. no longer dominates world stocks, foreign troubles will eventually abate and overseas bargains now abound.