Mutual Funds

Best IRA Accounts of 2014

Most of the top companies that are home to the best IRA accounts are the same places where you would open up an online stock trading account. In a previous post, I ranked the best online brokers so I had a head start when it came to finding the best Roth IRA or best Traditional …

Best Online Stock Trading Brokers for 2014

I’ve had an online stock trading account since I was 13 years old and I’ve used at least a dozen of the best online stock trading platforms. I’ve gained a few “learning experiences” from managing my own account and working as a proprietary day trader in Chicago for several years. There are over 50 online …

A New Rebalancing Strategy: A Change in Vanguard and a Clear Definition of the Goal

This morning, I happily talked about how Vanguard had changed their fee structure, which basically eliminated fees for me. Prior to this fee change, I was using a slightly unorthodox balancing strategy to avoid fees – although I love Vanguard funds and their investment philosophy, I didn’t like their fees. Now that the fees are …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

Remember This Earlier Post? Finishing Up A Wall Street Lesson From Ben Stein

A little over a month ago, in late February and early March, the stock market in the United States took an 8% hit in a little over a week, a very painful drop for anyone with a stock investment. For me, this was a rather nerve-wracking time, as it was the first time I had …

Answering A Few Questions From Mutual Fund Week

Here are three interesting questions sent in by readers of the series of mutual fund posts this week. I don’t understand how the companies that run these funds make enough money to make it worthwhile after ads, expenses, and so on. When you look at a mutual fund on Morningstar, you’ll see two key numbers: …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

Mutual Funds vs. Stocks: Which Is Right For You?

As a finale to mutual fund week, I wanted to share my thoughts on the continual debate between mutual funds (especially index funds) and individual stock picking. There are both positives and negatives to each and I hope not to sway you too strongly in one direction or another, because each have their proponents (for …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

Making The Case Against Mutual Funds – And Breaking It

After writing all week about how great mutual funds are, it’s important to note that they’re not the be-all end-all of investments. Here are four good arguments for why you should not invest your money in mutual funds. You can’t get exceptional growth from a mutual fund because the skyrocketing investments are held back by …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

Building, Balancing, and Rebalancing A Mutual Fund Portfolio

You’ve read up on mutual funds and you’ve picked a small handful out that you want to invest in. Now what? How can you buy in incrementally and then keep them balanced over time? Here’s a great strategy for building up the portfolio the way you want it, getting it balanced right, and then keeping …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

The Seven Factors I Use When Making A Decision About A Mutual Fund

So how do I pick the funds that I invest in? Although I don’t prescribe this list for everyone, I use seven distinct factors for selcting the funds that I plan to invest in. These factors usually tell me everything I need to know about the fund and whether or not it’s a good choice …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

The Money 70: A Great Place To Start Looking For Mutual Funds

As the latest issue of Money Magazine just arrived in my mailbox (review forthcoming), it occurred to me that a mention of the Money 70 might be in order during Mutual Fund Week here at The Simple Dollar. What is the “Money 70″? The Money 70 is a list of mutual funds selected by Money …

How To Use Morningstar To Evaluate Mutual Fund Choices

With so many mutual funds out there, companies loudly promoting their own funds, and people giving half-baked investment advice, how can we know what funds are really right for us? The best route is to take advantage of independent research, and for me, the best choice for independent research in mutual funds is Morningstar. What …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

A Look At My Own Mutual Fund Portfolio

As an example of the mutual fund topics we’ve discussed thus far this week, I thought I would mention my exact mutual fund investments and how I plan to grow them in the near future. First of all, I have two separate goals with my investments. The first is for buying a second home roughly …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

What Are Your Goals? How Do Mutual Funds Fit In There?

People ask me all the time if they should be putting some money into mutual funds, individual stocks, bonds, and so forth. Generally, I just ask them a few very simple questions and then give a simple answer that will set them down a path appropriate for their goals. Let’s walk through these questions and …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

Mutual Fund Fees And How To Avoid Them

Earlier today, I discussed some of the basic benefits of mutual funds: simplicity, diversification, and solid returns. Of course, these benefits come with a price: there is no free lunch on Wall Street (or anywhere else). Here are some of the most common expenses that are associated with mutual funds. As a thrifty investor, you’re …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds

Personal Finance 101: What Is A Mutual Fund?

Understanding How Mutual Funds Can Work for You Recently, I received a lengthy email from a reader who had a ton of basic personal finance questions contained within. I thought it might be interesting to start an irregular “personal finance 101″ series to answer and explain some of her questions. A mutual fund is an …

Categories: Investing, Mutual Funds