The First Quarter 2014 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on May 16, 2014 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

What Was Down Is Now Up

Two of last year’s worst-performing categories ranked among the first quarter’s top performers. Whether it was a reversion to the mean or a temporary blip within a long-term downtrend remains to be seen, but shareholders of precious metals funds and government long-term bond funds likely welcomed the reprieve. The average precious metals sector fund gained 11.3% in the first quarter after falling by 30.8% last year. The average long-term government bond fund rebounded by 7.1% during the first three months of 2014 after falling 5.5% in 2013.

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The Third Quarter 2013 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on October 21, 2013 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Third Quarter Similar to the First

The third quarter bucked its reputation for being the three-month period with the worst market performance for stocks. Rather, gains were realized by stock funds of all stripes and colors, though the magnitude of the gains increased as market capitalization decreased.

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The Second Quarter 2013 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on July 24, 2013 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Bond Funds Fall on Fed Uncertainty

Uncertainty about U.S. monetary policy was a key theme during the second quarter. Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose from 1.63% on May 2, 2013, to 2.48% on June 30, 2013, over concerns that the Federal Open Market Committee would begin to curtail its bond-buying program sooner than expected. This speculation steepened the yield curve, with long-term rates rising by a greater magnitude than short-term rates.

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The First Quarter 2013 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on April 29, 2013 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

The First Quarter’s Bull Run

Investors in stock funds were singing The Cars’ famous tune, “Let the Good Times Roll,” last quarter. U.S stocks enjoyed their best start to a year since 1998. Several market benchmarks reached new record highs, including the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P SmallCap 600 index. The widespread gains resulted in 10 domestic stock fund categories posting average first-quarter gains of 10% or more.

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The Fourth Quarter 2012 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on January 30, 2013 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

A Modest End to a Good Year

Most mutual fund categories experienced modest gains in the fourth quarter, achieving average returns of 2.2% or less. Though the final quarter’s performance may have been unimpressive, the full-year data tells a different story. Approximately half of the categories tracked by this newsletter delivered an average return of 10% or better in 2012.

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The Fourth Quarter 2012 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on January 15, 2013 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Commentary: “A Modest End to a Good Year” — Most mutual fund categories experienced modest gains in the fourth quarter, achieving average returns of 2.2% or less.

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The Third Quarter 2012 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on October 22, 2012 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

A Good Quarter for Fund Investors

If you held onto a mutual fund throughout the third quarter, it is likely that you made money. Almost every category we track had an average positive return last quarter. The sole exception was contra stock market mutual funds that bet against the stock market; they lost 8.1% on average, as would be expected for a period when the major indexes rose.

Stock funds mostly outperformed their bond counterparts. Two equity categories posted double-digit gains and a third stock fund category was just shy of a 10% gain. Many bond fund categories posted more modest returns. Four bond categories had returns of 1.0% or less—still positive, but not by much.

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THE SECOND QUARTER 2012 ISSUE OF QMFU IS NOW AVAILABLE ON-LINE

Posted on July 24, 2012 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Mutual fund investors are constantly warned against chasing short-term performance, and the dangers of doing so were exemplified in the second quarter. What worked very well in the first quarter, didn’t work well in the second quarter. Conversely, some of the first quarter’s worst-performing categories were the best-performing categories in the second quarter.

A renewed focus on the European sovereign crisis combined with worries of a global economic slowdown caused many investors to adopt a more defensive stance. Many investors sought safety in government bond funds and dividends in less economically sensitive utility stock funds.

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THE First QUARTER 2012 ISSUE OF QMFU IS NOW AVAILABLE ON-LINE

Posted on April 25, 2012 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Commentary: Rally Propels Tech and Financial Funds

The first-quarter rally in stock prices led to double-digit gains in most stock fund categories. Technology and financial/banking sectors were particular standouts, with both sectors realizing average gains of nearly 20%.

Most bond funds also posted positive returns last quarter, though the gains were considerably less. The best-performing bond fund category was convertible bond, which gained 7.9%.

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The Fourth Quarter 2011 issue of QMFU is now available on-line

Posted on January 30, 2012 | Quarterly Mutual Fund Update

Commentary: Bond Funds Gain; Stock Funds Falter

Bond funds saw their total returns increase further in the fourth quarter, capping off a strong 2011. Nearly every bond fund category made shareholders wealthier last year, with five categories generating double-digit returns. Only convertible bond and currency international bond funds posted average negative rates of return.

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