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The Best Mutual Funds for Your Portfolio

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Penny Stock Investment Newsletters and Advisors - Finding the Best

Investing in penny stocks is always a hot topic. The allure of penny stocks is the sense that you can get a large position without a lot of money, and a price swing of a few cents can result in a large percentage swing. Of course, we all expect that the swings will work out in our favor, so this makes it appear that it can be a quick road to riches.

However, one of the common traits of penny stocks is that by their very nature they aren’t required to make the financial disclosures that companies on the major stock exchanges would be. This opens the whole field up to people who might prey on the unsuspecting.

ETF Trading Strategies - A Look at Several ETF Trading Systems

One of the attractive features of ETF’s is that they can represent a relatively narrow sector of the market, but don’t generally have the volatility of individual stocks. This makes them ideal for some traditional investment approaches. Here is a look at a number of different etf trading strategies.

Asset allocation - The first is the classical asset allocation approach. This approach is championed by many investment advisors, especially those who embrace the efficient market hypothesis, which basically suggests that you can’t beat the markets, so the best you can do is buy and hold low cost funds, and reduce the overall risk of the portfolio by investing in assets that aren’t correlated and should not move in concert. In this case the key feature is that since you don’t think you can beat the market, all you want from a fund is the lowest cost way to purchase a portfolio of stocks in a given sector.

Sector Trading - There is a Bullish Sector Somewhere

Do you look at the mutual fund rankings that magazines publish every year? The performances can often be eyepopping. Have your ever seen a year that the best performing mutual funds had a loss?  Of course not, there’s always secgtor funds that have a good year, even in the bear market years. It might be energy sector or medical sector, or foreign country mutual funds that have a good year. 

Investing in Index Mutual Funds: Pitfalls of Buy and Hold

Are you overwhelmed by the options when it comes to buying (and selling) mutual funds? With over 10,000 funds out there, there are more funds than stocks listed on the stock exchanges. How do we sort through this morass to find a good selection of funds, and how do we know when it’s time to sell?

One popular choice that gets a lot of attention is investing in index funds. But even this simple solution can be confusing. Do you buy just one stock index fund and one bond index fund? If you buy more than one?

US Treasury ETF’s - A Look at Treasury ETF Choices

There have been a confusing array of US treasury ETF’s made available over the last several years. They come in a few different classes, here are some that might work for your portfolio.

One advantage of using US Treasury ETF’s is that you can purchase them for a significantly smaller amount than the minimums you will need if buying treasury instruments directly.

Oil ETFs - What are the Choices for an Oil ETF

Oil is a popular investment target these days as the price of oil shows a lot of volatility, and provides some diversification as it doesn’t move in concert with the overall market. As an alternative to investing in oil stocks or trading crude oil directly, you may wish to invest directly in ETF’s that track an oil index.

Best Time to Invest in Mutual Funds - The Best Months to Invest

When is the best time to invest in mutual funds, or the stock market in general. Because of the redemption fees on mutual funds, it can be harder to use market timing to manage the risk in your portfolio. But there are some seasonal influences that can be used to your advantage to help you decide when it’s best to invest in mutual funds, and when to go to cash.

Hedging Your Mutual Fund Portfolio - Why Hedge Your Portfolio?

What do farmers and airlines know that you don’t?

So far in our series on managing risk we’ve taken a look at market timing and portfolio diversification as two powerful techniques to control risk in our mutual fund portfolios. In this article we’ll take a look at the third and final one: hedging.

Bear Market Investing - Hedging with Mutual Funds and ETFs

In previous articles we covered the possible advantages of hedging your portfolio as another way to reduce risk. This time we will cover a method to do exactly that using only mutual funds or ETF’s that can be purchased in a cash brokerage account.

Historically to hedge you had to sell short shares of an ETF that tracks the market, like SPY or QQQQ, or to buy put options on the major indices. The problem with that is that it requires a margin account, which eliminates most retirement accounts, and many retail accounts. Plus many people have this innate fear of short selling, and are concerned that they could lose more than they invested if the markets were to take off.

How Much Do You Need to Retire - It May Be Less than You Think

Recently we’ve gone series on risk management for our portfolios, it seems that it would be interesting to go back and look at how much you need to retire if you apply some of these techniques.

The full story on the assumptions behind the conventional wisdom can be found at our previous article on how much you need to retire.

Fidelity ETF - The Story with Fidelity and ETF’s

Fidelity does sponsor an ETF, but the most common way to trade ETFs at Fidelity is through the brokerage arm. Let’s take a look at the Fidelity ETF.

Many fund families have gotten into the business of creating/ sponsoring ETFs. It would seem like a natural move for them, and they did start the process back in 2003 with the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Indes Tracking Stock (ONEQ is its trading symbol). This is a simple tracking stock, and it has no real distinctive reason for being.

Dow Theory - History of Dow Theory Stock Market Timing

One of the earliest examples of stock market timing was the Dow Theory. Dow Theory Market timing is actually pretty straightforward, but it’s complicated a little by the variations that have been added to it over the years. Here’s a quick history of the Dow Theory timing system, and where to find information on trading it today.

Fosback Seasonality Timing System

We would all like to have some edge when it comes to the markets. We have discussed some stock market timing approaches as one way to mitigate the market risk. However, one limitation almost all these market timing systems have is that they are the result of some type of backtesting or simulation. The result is that while it may look good on paper, it’s difficult to have much confidence in their real time performance until they develop something of a track record.

Fundamentally Weighted ETF’s

We are constantly on the lookout for ways to both diversify our portfolios, while simultaneously improving the risk adjusted return. ETF’s have many advantages over traditional mutual funds, e.g. the ability to trade interday, no early redemption fees, low cost structures, and are not typically tied to the track record of an individual fund manager. This last advantage is a result of the fact that ETF’s are typically set up to track some type of passive index, limiting the ability of a fund manager to add (or subtract) value with his stock picking abilities.

How Much Do You Need to Retire? Adjust Your Portfolio to Need Less

If you’ve ever looked what kind of nest-egg you are going to need to retire, you’ve undoubtedly come across the standard rule of thumb only allows withdrawing 4% a year if you want to have your savings last at least 30 years.

So if you wanted to start withdrawing $80k a year, you would need to have $2 million dollars in savings. Now that is a mighty sum, and many may consider it out of reach, especially if you are starting late in the game.

Measuring Portfolio Risk - Risk Measurement for an Average Investor

In some other articles we discuss the impact that risk can have not only on your ability to invest with a system, but highlighted the fact that the risk of the portfolio can have more impact on the sustainable withdrawal rate than the actual average rate of return.

Trend Following - Trend Following Traders Returns for 2008

Sector rotation and trend following are interrelated parts of most successful trading strategies. As we all know, 2008 was a tough year in the market. But trend following allows you to follow trends down as well as up, so it could be successful in bear markets as well. Here’s a look at a study of trend following returns for 2008.

Building a Diversified Portfolio - The Best Mutual Funds

In another article we looked at managing risk (as measure by the standard deviation of returns) by combining funds in our portfolio that were uncorrelated, (that is they don’t track each other very well on a day to day basis.)

How does this work out when applying it to a typical mutual fund portfolio?

Let’s start by taking a quick look at one of the standard examples.

Our Best Diversified Mutual Fund Allocation

Here we take a look at techniques you can use to build our best diversified mutual fund allocation, which helps manage the risk in your mutual fund portfolio.

In other articles we found that using uncorrelated funds assembled in a portfolio gave us a powerful tool to manage risk, while maintaining good portfolio returns.

Finding the Best Mutual Funds for Diversification

Finding the best mutual funds for diverifying your portfolio is a little tricky these days. If you’ve done any reading or watched any TV on the topic of investing, you’ve undoubtedly run into the topic of diversification, and heard how important it is.

It’s often the only real form of portfolio risk management that is generally recommended in the popular press, but it seems to often that folks write about it without really comprehending what makes it work. While the math can get complex, the basic ideas behind diversification are simple enough to follow.