Target Date Funds: A Simple Premise, but Underlying Complexities

The allure of target date funds is simple: a single fund that provides a diversified portfolio and alters its allocation as shareholders approach the date when cash withdrawals will be taken. The promise of an “all-in-one solution” to investing for retirement is attracting both investors and employers. Yet, behind the simple appeal are complex strategies…

 

Watch Out Vanguard: Fidelity Now Boasts Cheapest Sector ETFs After Cutting Fees

An InvestmentNews.com article reported that Fidelity Investments will lower expense ratios on 27 index funds and ETFs on July 1, ramping up its competition with Vanguard. According to the article, the Fidelity 500 Index fund (FUSEX), which tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, charges 0.09% annual for individual investors, versus 0.16% for the Vanguard…

 

Defined-Maturity Funds: A Bond Alternative With Compromises

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of the AAII Journal. Interested in the benefits that individual bonds can offer, but not ready for the complications? The hybrid defined-maturity bond funds are one alternative. What are they and what do you need to know before investing? As the name implies, defined-maturity bonds cease…

 

The Mutual Fund Cash Dilemma

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of the AAII Journal. After any major stock market rally, investors should examine each of their mutual funds to assess whether the manager must remain fully invested or has the ability to raise cash in the absence of acceptable opportunities. History shows that stocks can remain at high valuations…

 

Qualitative Guidelines for Mutual Fund Selection

This article originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of the AAII Journal. Many articles exist on how to use financial data to pick solid mutual funds. But what comes after screening based on quantitative metrics? What about the other side of fund selection—the qualitative criteria that can help investors better understand and select investments to fill their…

 

Inside ETFs

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of the AAII Journal. Like mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are a way for investors to participate in the stock, bond and commodity markets; achieve a diversified portfolio; and gain access to a broad array of investment strategies. What are ETFs and how do they work? The…

 

How to Measure the Skills of Your Fund Manager

According to the Investment Company Institute’s Fact Book, in 2015, there were over 16,000 mutual funds, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds. This is more than the current number of stocks listed on the NASDAQ, NYSE and Amex exchanges. [Editor’s note: As of January 31, 2017, there were over 4,700 stocks listed on the major exchanges…