Mutual Funds and Merlot was so much fun last Friday. We drank a great Merlot from Columbia Crest (Grand Estates). Topics included your objectives for your investment funds and how those should match up to your mutual fund choices. We looked over the Vanguard portfolio allocation charts (seen here) from 1926-2014 to learn how asset allocation adds to or decreases average return.
One question asked,”what would it look like if the Depression (1930’s) years were left out”? Those years have the largest declines. Declines were pretty dramatic in 2008, a popular Standard and Poor’s 500 fund from Vanguard (VFINX) was down 37.02 that year. When looking at mutual funds returns now, be sure to check the ten year as well as the five year returns; as the 2008-2009 numbers have dropped out of the five year averages.
We also reviewed fees and terminology (no-load, load etc.) and I shared that when I began in this business (mid 1980’s) the highest front end mutual fund charges were 7.75%!
We did not cover all of the types of mutual funds; only open-ended mutual funds and index funds (a subset of open-ended funds). I also reviewed a decision tree of sorts:
- Money to Invest (how long)
- Tax Treatment (Taxable or non-taxable)
- Diversification (individual issues or pool of securities e.g. mutual fund)
- Objectives for your funds (growth, income, combination)