Mutual Funds

Current Commentary

December 1, 2019

Dear friends,

Welcome to the last 2019 issue of Mutual Fund Observer. Thanks for being here.

There’s rather a lot going on with this month’s issue whose theme might be “get some perspective while it’s still possible.” We’ll talk a bit about preparing for less hospitable markets. Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index is up 27% YTD without a notable stumble along the way; it simply doesn’t get more hospitable. Since the economy, earnings and CPI didn’t grow by anywhere near that much, most of the gain comes from “multiple expansion,” the willingness of investors to pay more today than they did yesterday for the same thing. Vanguard itself is not Continue reading →

Our Mission

David Snowball, PublisherThe Mutual Fund Observer writes for the benefit of intellectually curious, serious investors— managers, advisers, and individuals—who need to go beyond marketing fluff, beyond computer- generated recommendations and beyond Morningstar’s coverage universe.

We are non-profit, non-commercial, independent and accessible. Our special focus is on innovative, independent new and smaller funds. MFO’s mission is to provide readers with calm, intelligent arguments and to provide independent fund companies with an opportunity to receive thoughtful attention even though they might not yet have drawn billions in assets. Its coverage universe has been described as “the thousands of funds off Morningstar’s radar,” a description one fund manager echoes as “a Morningstar for the rest of us.”

What the Observer Provides

A monthly commentary, featuring a variety of voices that speak from many different perspectives but who all share the same values: intelligence, respect, civility.

Profiles of funds you ought to know more about. We ask three questions to start:

  1. Is there any reason this fund should even exist, other than because the manager needs a job?
  2. Is there any reason to believe that the manager can execute the strategy?
  3. Is there any reason to believe that the manager will end up sabotaging it?

If we find satisfactory answers to all three, we start digging through the public record, proceed to speak with the managers and end up defending a judgment.

Rich analytics focusing on risk, as well as rosters of distinguished and disastrous funds.

A lively discussion board, whose active members are diverse, lively, passionate …and occasionally hilarious.

 

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