For many investors, mutual funds, ETFs, and other types of managed investments are the vehicles of choice. Mutual funds are a staple in 401(k) and similar retirement plans. Mutual funds generally offer investors access to a diversified, professionally managed portfolio of investments with a low cost of acquisition.
Choosing the right mutual funds and ETFs for investment can be as difficult of a task as evaluating individual stocks and bonds. Is the fund a passively managed index product designed to replicate a given market benchmark or an actively managed fund where the manager selects specific securities to achieve the fund’s objectives.
Over my career as a financial advisor my focus has been on selecting the best mutual funds and ETFs to help my clients meet their investment objectives. I’ve tried to share some of this knowledge on this blog.
Investing in low cost index funds has become popular in recent years, in many cases index products provide better results than a high percentage of the actively managed funds in a given investment style. Here are some articles on indexing and index funds:
Actively Managed Funds
Many studies have shown that very few active mutual fund managers outperform their benchmark index over time. While this is true, there are still some active fund managers who are worth checking out.
Bond funds and ETFs can serve as great portfolio diversifiers but investors also need to understand the inherent risks involved.
Choosing and Monitoring Your Funds
Like any investment vehicle, you should have an investment process that you use to choose mutual funds and ETFs initially and to monitor your holdings periodically.
Target Date Funds
Target Date Funds are increasingly popular investments in 401(k) and similar retirement plans. In theory an investor simply has to select the fund with the target date closest to their anticipated retirement date and let the fund manager do the rest. Sadly there are no “set it and forget it” investments based upon my experience.
Mutual funds can be a solid choice for investors at all levels of income and wealth, and across various investment accounts including both taxable and tax-deferred accounts. While mutual funds at their best provide investors access to professional management, not all mutual funds are created equal. Investors must understand the fund or ETF’s investment objectives, fees, and who is managing the fund. There are a lot of choices and not all of them are good choices for investors.
It is my hope that this page will serve as a resource to you as you seek to make the best investment choices for your situation. Please fee free to contact me with any questions that you might have about mutual fund investing.
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