Mutual Funds

Current Commentary

February 1, 2018

Dear friends,

It’s a Tale of Two Parties, one rather healthier than the other. My students, slowed by a surprisingly cold month and end-of-term stress (Augustana is finishing a Winter trimester that began a bit after Halloween and ends near Valentine’s Day), have taken to launching spontaneous little parties in hopes of gathering that last burst of energy needed to make it through a last set of research presentations and reflective essays. Lionel Ritchie (whose name they barely recognize) captures the late winter moment: “Party, Karamu, Fiesta, Forever. Come on and sing along.” On whole, that strikes me as joyful, appropriate and, ultimately, productive.

The other party rather 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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