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BUSINESS
By CHARLES JAFFE | January 22, 2006
Cleaning my desk to start the new year, I stumbled on an annual report issued last fall by a fund firm I invest with. It contained words you'd never expect to hear from the president of a fund company. "If we don't deliver consistent performance over the long run, I'd recommend you take your money elsewhere. Really." Samuel Stewart can make that kind of bold statement because he runs the Wasatch funds, which have been among the top performers in the business for years. Years of building that kind of record carry an unusual side effect, heightened investor expectations.
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BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | January 11, 2009
While the average U.S. stock mutual fund plunged nearly 38 percent last year, the Hussman Strategic Growth fund based in Ellicott City limited its annual loss to 9 percent. The fund posted the lowest negative return among 157 Maryland-based stock mutual funds tracked by The Baltimore Sun, according to data provided by Bloomberg News. The Hussman fund, whose holdings included consumer brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Best Buy, lost 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter. That no Maryland equity fund was in the black in 2008 reflects a year with the worst stock market performance since the Great Depression.
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BUSINESS
By JULIUS WESTHEIMER | August 9, 2000
Do you buy mutual funds solely on the basis of historical performance? If so, consider this warning from August Better Investing: "Past performance does not necessarily guarantee future results - whether it is the fund's record in the last three months, six months or one year. "It is more important to study the fund manager's tenure (long is better than short), the fund's performance in `down' as well as `up' markets, turnover ratio (the lower the better), the fund's expenses and portfolio composition.
BUSINESS
By GAIL MARKSJARVIS | September 2, 2007
Sometimes you just can't win. Lately, that's been the case for people who own mutual funds that invest in stocks. If you have the average fund that invests in large U.S. company stocks, you probably have lost about 6 percent of the money that was in the fund July 19. If you have money in a mutual fund that invests in small company stocks, you may have lost about 8 percent. If you have an international fund, you might have lost 8 percent, too. And if you are like the 35-year-old paralegal who contacted me from a Las Vegas casino last week, you might be worried that you are gambling with your 401(k)
BUSINESS
By Sylvia Porter and Sylvia Porter,1989 Los Angeles Times Syndicate Times Mirror Square Los Angeles, Calif. 90053 | November 14, 1990
Mutual funds continue to attract small investors, as well they should. In a faltering economy and a soft stock market, you may become unnerved. Yet, whatever the economic outlook, buying these mutual funds still is one of the best ways to preserve and enhance your assets.Mutual funds offer you a diversified portfolio, professionally managed, something that otherwise would not be available to those of you who invest a relatively modest amount.Assets of all mutual funds were more than a trillion dollars in September, the latest month for which statistics are available, down slightly because of falling stock prices, says the Investment Company Institute.
BUSINESS
By GAIL MARKSJARVIS | September 2, 2007
Sometimes you just can't win. Lately, that's been the case for people who own mutual funds that invest in stocks. If you have the average fund that invests in large U.S. company stocks, you probably have lost about 6 percent of the money that was in the fund July 19. If you have money in a mutual fund that invests in small company stocks, you may have lost about 8 percent. If you have an international fund, you might have lost 8 percent, too. And if you are like the 35-year-old paralegal who contacted me from a Las Vegas casino last week, you might be worried that you are gambling with your 401(k)
BUSINESS
By Charles Jaffe and Charles Jaffe,Marketwatch | November 14, 2006
Most people know how to shop for gifts, to find the "right" item for that special friend or loved one. Those same people frequently are horrible at shopping for mutual funds. As we approach the heaviest shopping season of the year, it's clear that the same considerations that go into buying a gift also go into buying a fund. And just as the "perfect gift" often winds up accumulating dust in the back of a closet, or tossed out come spring cleaning, many mutual funds purchased with good intentions wind up being duds.
BUSINESS
By WERNER RENBERG and WERNER RENBERG,1992 By WERNER RENBERG | November 1, 1992
When a movie reviewer gives a four- or five-star rating to new film, you may decide to see it. When a food writer gives four or five stars to a restaurant that you've never patronized, you may decide to give it a try if its prices seem reasonable.But what are you to think if an ad or promotional leaflet for a bond or equity mutual fund tells you that Morningstar Mutual Funds, a bi-weekly Chicago publication, has given the fund a five-star rating?That an investment in the fund would make you a lot of money?
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | January 11, 2009
While the average U.S. stock mutual fund plunged nearly 38 percent last year, the Hussman Strategic Growth fund based in Ellicott City limited its annual loss to 9 percent. The fund posted the lowest negative return among 157 Maryland-based stock mutual funds tracked by The Baltimore Sun, according to data provided by Bloomberg News. The Hussman fund, whose holdings included consumer brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola and Best Buy, lost 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter. That no Maryland equity fund was in the black in 2008 reflects a year with the worst stock market performance since the Great Depression.
BUSINESS
By Bill Barnhart and Bill Barnhart,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | April 25, 1999
For more than 30 years, the Value Line Investment Survey's "timeliness" recommendations on stocks have been so well followed that they have become self-fulfilling prophecies.Five years ago, Value Line launched a mutual fund rating service designed to compete with such firms as Chicago-based Morningstar, New York-based Lipper and Maryland-based CDA Weisenberger.With five years of data on nearly 3,000 equity funds in hand, Value Line recently made a provocative claim: Its fund rankings "have consistently and successfully predicted those funds' performance."
BUSINESS
By Charles Jaffe and Charles Jaffe,Marketwatch | November 14, 2006
Most people know how to shop for gifts, to find the "right" item for that special friend or loved one. Those same people frequently are horrible at shopping for mutual funds. As we approach the heaviest shopping season of the year, it's clear that the same considerations that go into buying a gift also go into buying a fund. And just as the "perfect gift" often winds up accumulating dust in the back of a closet, or tossed out come spring cleaning, many mutual funds purchased with good intentions wind up being duds.
BUSINESS
By LAURA SMITHERMAN and LAURA SMITHERMAN,SUN REPORTER | July 13, 2006
Legg Mason Inc. announced yesterday that it would eliminate about one-third of its mutual funds to streamline operations and get rid of funds with poor track records acquired in a business swap with Citigroup Inc. last year. With the proposed reorganization, Baltimore-based Legg Mason would whittle a stable of more than 165 mutual funds to 119 though mergers and the liquidation of eight funds. In evaluating which funds to target, company officials said they considered a fund's performance and size, its ranking by tracking firms Morningstar Inc. and Lipper Inc., and whether it overlapped with other funds in the product lineup.
BUSINESS
By CHARLES JAFFE | January 22, 2006
Cleaning my desk to start the new year, I stumbled on an annual report issued last fall by a fund firm I invest with. It contained words you'd never expect to hear from the president of a fund company. "If we don't deliver consistent performance over the long run, I'd recommend you take your money elsewhere. Really." Samuel Stewart can make that kind of bold statement because he runs the Wasatch funds, which have been among the top performers in the business for years. Years of building that kind of record carry an unusual side effect, heightened investor expectations.
BUSINESS
By CHARLES JAFFE | December 22, 2002
NO MATTER how dismal the performance, some people in the mutual fund industry deserve a special something this holiday season. With that in mind, it's the seventh annual Lump of Coal Awards. Today and again next week, this column will award an inky chunk of carbon to managers, executives, industry watchdogs, and companies for attitude, performance, action or behavior that is offensive, disingenuous, reprehensible or just plain stupid. It takes more than miserable returns to earn this bituminous bangle, and this year's "winners" all did something special to stand out from the crowd.
BUSINESS
By JULIUS WESTHEIMER | August 9, 2000
Do you buy mutual funds solely on the basis of historical performance? If so, consider this warning from August Better Investing: "Past performance does not necessarily guarantee future results - whether it is the fund's record in the last three months, six months or one year. "It is more important to study the fund manager's tenure (long is better than short), the fund's performance in `down' as well as `up' markets, turnover ratio (the lower the better), the fund's expenses and portfolio composition.
BUSINESS
By CHARLES JAFFE | March 19, 2000
By most accounts, one of my favorite mutual funds had a bad year in 1999. In that fund, however, I had a worse year. It's a phenomenon that happens to a lot of investors, although many people don't actually realize it. That being the case -- and with your 1999 year-end fund paperwork still reasonably handy -- you may want to evaluate your fund portfolio more on the basis of your performance than on how the fund says it did for the year. In my case, for example, the fund that grabbed my attention for poor performance was up about 5 percent, but my account gained 3.5 percent.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS | May 19, 1996
BOSTON -- Morningstar Inc. has all but thrown in the towel in what was from the beginning a lopsided battle with the National Association of Securities Dealers.The issue is whether it's appropriate to grade mutual funds on a single year's performance.One thinks it's dumbMoney manager David K. Schafer thinks the NASD demand that Morningstar, an influential research group, start grading mutual funds based on their one-year record is a "dumb idea.""The regulatory group should be stressing long-term performance, not short-term performance," said Schafer, who started managing money 22 years ago and today runs the Strong Schafer Value Fund.
BUSINESS
By WERNER RENBERG and WERNER RENBERG,1991, Werner Renberg | August 4, 1991
If you're the type who checked whether the latest gross national product increase was adjusted for inflation, you probably would also appreciate risk-adjusted rates of return for your mutual funds.But even if you let others worry about how GNP figures are calculated, you ought to have a grasp of the concept of "risk-adjusted return."The knowledge could help you to manage your mutual fund investments better.You're aware that a fund's total return -- the most important measure of performance -- reflects the change in its share price during a given period, plus reinvested income and capital gains.
BUSINESS
By Bill Barnhart and Bill Barnhart,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | April 25, 1999
For more than 30 years, the Value Line Investment Survey's "timeliness" recommendations on stocks have been so well followed that they have become self-fulfilling prophecies.Five years ago, Value Line launched a mutual fund rating service designed to compete with such firms as Chicago-based Morningstar, New York-based Lipper and Maryland-based CDA Weisenberger.With five years of data on nearly 3,000 equity funds in hand, Value Line recently made a provocative claim: Its fund rankings "have consistently and successfully predicted those funds' performance."
BUSINESS
By Jerry Morgan and Jerry Morgan,NEWSDAY | July 19, 1998
Three years ago, Bernard Drucker of East Meadow, N.Y., a financial consultant for more than 40 years, decided to invest some money for one of his grandchildren. So he checked out various funds and settled on American Century's Giftrust.Now, Giftrust is one of those investments that reminds you of the Eagles song "Hotel California": "You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave." That's because the mutual fund is a trust, and you agree to leave your money in for at least 10 years.
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