Mutual funds for beginners?

So, i am currently looking to invest some of my money, rather than just having it sitting in a bank getting absolutely no interest. I have been looking at mutual funds, because they seem to be the best in terms of stability and diversity. After that, i really have no idea where to go. I have been reading many online guides, but none seem to help me with the best specific mutual funds to invest in. A few people I have talked to prefer Fidelity funds, but which specific funds i have no idea. Can some of you investment wizards help me out here? Point me in the right direction?

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9 Replies to “Mutual funds for beginners?”

  1. Fidelity is an excellent place to start and, if you go see them, you’ll know you’re not talking to some bozo on the internet…like me! Be serious with your money.



  3. Okay. I’ll tell you what I know, in brief.

    I invest some money in loans. You lend people money in increments as low as $ 50, and they even have a table illustrating the chance of default based on credit level (A, B, C… all the way to high-risk, or HR).

    A credit has less than 1% chance of default, and you can still get around 14%. HR people will shell out up to 35%. Not bad.

    But what if you want to buy low, and sell high?

    Go get an online brokerage account. If you want to buy stock cheaply, go somewhere like Sharebuilder. I use TDAmeritrade because I ADORE their customer service (you can call ’em 24/7, and they actually pick up).

    Then you have, oh, about 20,000 choices. I like to buy stocks that pay high dividends, and that are in depressed sectors (like finance). Remember that I’m an income investor — I don’t give a whit if the price stays the same for 5 years at a time.

    If you want simple, go find a mutual fund salesperson, er, I mean a financial advisor. Or you could talk to a fee-only financial planner.

    But if you don’t want to waste most of your money on various nickel-and-dime fees, it may be best to do your own intellectual legwork.

    If you’re really into mutual funds, look for a fund manager who’s had consistently high gains over many years (gray hair is a good thing). Then read his/her annual report. It’s lengthy, but it’ll tell you how they think.

    If you trust that the person in charge isn’t just trying to make themselves look good (and it happens a lot), and you can deal with the level of fees they’ll charge you (and they all do), then by all means, get mutual funds or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). ETFs are easier to trade with an online broker, that’s the advantage I see.

    Hmm, that’s about all I’ve got. I won’t even bother you with closed-end versus open-end mutual funds, right now.

    If I’d just heard all of this stuff at once, I’d need a handful of aspirin.

    Hope I was some help.

  4. There are 4 or 6 good mutual fund companies that have some excellent funds. Fidelity is one. T Rowe Price another. Vanguard a 3rd. American Century a 4th. Dodge & Cox just reopened a couple of their excellent funds.

    The particular fund is sort of a matter of personal preferrence. As for myself, I do not like growth funds at all. They are way to risky. It is really difficult to recommend a fund for a beginning investor. The ideal fund in my opinion would have a broad exposure to equities in general. Have a decent performance in both bull and bear markets. And have a decent expense ratio. A Fidelity fund that I do like is Fidelity International Discovery–FIGRX. Some might argue that it is risky and they might be correct. It does perform rather poorly in a bear markets. Something to consider. We are in one now. A fund that performed very well in bear markets is T Rowe Price Capital Appreciation Fund–PRWCX. It however has just had a change in managers. This is sort of problematical. But for a beginning investor, this is one to consider. Absolutely. Now a fund that is an alternative to FIGRX is offered by Vanguard. It is the Global Equity Fund–VHGEX. Why I like the global funds over the U S based funds is because of the wider diversity of holdings. The dollar is looking more like toilet paper every day, so it makes sense to invest outside of the U S to take advantage of that. Only 37% of the Vanguard fund is invested in U S securities. This is very similar to the world capital allocation.

  5. Before you pick a specific fund, define your investment goals, timeline and risk tolerance. Are you saving for the short term/long term, for retirement or what? How willing are you to tolerate risk and volatility in your investments? Those are questions only you can answer.

  6. If you decide to invest in Mutual Funds, make sure you do your homework. About 75% of all mutual funds under perform the stock market. All of them have management fees, and some have sales loads.

    Be sure to check management fees if you go the mutual fund route. Also, check the funds track record. If it does not have an impressive annual return rate over the last 10 years, or however long you are comfortable with, move on to the next.

    One thing you might look into, are DRIP Plans.

    They are seldom talked about because brokers make very little money when they suggest them. Yet, they have proven to be one of the best, if not the best, long-term strategy on Wall Street.

    They are perfect for small investors, as well as big investors. They are safe and allow you to not care about whether the market is going up or down.

  7. study

    Good fund should be consistantly good
    that is for last 1,2,3,5 year returns

    Try with balanced funds and equity

    Sector funds to be avoided at begining six month
    Dont invest in only one fund however good it appears
    try 5 to 10 funds from 2 to 4 fundhouses

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