Home Investment Investing in Mutual Funds – Easier Than You Think

Investing in Mutual Funds – Easier Than You Think


Many investors try to play the game of picking individual stocks rather than picking solid mutual funds and then often wonder why they experience both difficulty and stress making money in the stock market. I tell investors that they should not be afraid to own individual stocks if they are willing to take the time to learn enough about the individual company or stock to make a rational businessman’s decision. And don’t forget about valuation.

Sometimes it is just a lot easier to pick fabulous mutual funds, and let professional money managers make the individual stock selections for you. If you go this route, and for many it is the way to go, than I suggest your big decisions are what sectors you want to invest in, and what are your asset allocations. Sounds like fancy language, but really it is not. It’s just plain common sense investing. What is your aversion to risk? Do you want to embrace investment risk, or do you seek to encounter as little risk as possible.

The recent explosion of an oil rig in the Gulf and the resulting chaos and environmental damage tells you that any company can all of a sudden be exposed to dramatic unforeseen risk. In this case it was BP. Mutual Funds can also possess much more risk than you thought you were encountering.

Here’s what I think you should consider doing. First unless you are a real expert, consider buying Index Funds, as opposed to investing in funds that carry a high load, or sales charge associated with them. If you pay a big commission, you simply have less dollars in the investment to work with. Studies show that for most mutual funds, the commission or load simply is not worth it. Don’t let a good or even a great salesman talk you into a load fund, unless you have checked for yourself, that the returns over several different periods of time have been outstanding.

Make sure the management team hasn’t changed by the way. You don’t want to pay for fabulous past results only to find out there is a new portfolio manager in town running your mutual fund. Watch out for the fad funds by the way. By the time an entire mutual fund sector is hot, and ripping up the charts with performance, it is too late 90% of the time, for you to be an investor. You don’t want start becoming an investor in gold as it passes $1200 per ounce. That is the time you want to be thinking about exiting, not entering.

Do a little homework, have reasonable expectations, pay a low load, or even used index funds, have a long term outlook, and you should be okay. More than that, you should be pleased with the wealth creation process that you have put together for yourself. If you insist on taking all kinds of risk, than you should do it with only about 5% of your investable assets. Good luck. Find Additional important articles on my blog.

Richard C. Stoyeck