January 1, 2024

By David Snowball

Dear friends,

Welcome to the January issue of Mutual Fund Observer.

January was named after Janus, the tutelary deity of the year’s first month. As tutelary, he was guardian, patron, and protector. Absent from the Greek pantheon, Janus was the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and endings. It was the “transitions” part that led Romans to place the two-faced god near entries and passageways, where he oversaw their comings and Continue reading →

Asset Allocation and Withdrawal Strategies in Retirement

By Charles Lynn Bolin

I hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the holidays and spend time with family! I wish you a pleasant and prosperous new year.

I was preparing for my typical review of forecasts for the coming year and read an interesting discussion about allocation strategies on the MFO Discussion Board and redirected my efforts. The discussions centered around investment and withdrawal strategies. In this article, I will create Continue reading →

Celebrating the ongoing triumph of ESG investing

By David Snowball

James Mackintosh, who has always been adamantly skeptical of ESG/SRI/green investing (though less loudly opposed to anti-woke/red investing, perhaps because it’s so marginal), offered a nice analysis (“Green Investors Were Crushed. Now It’s Time to Make Money,” WSJ.com, 12/5/2023) of the declining popularity of ESG investing in 2023 and the challenges facing certain green energy firms.

“Invest according to your political views,” he begins, “and you’re Continue reading →

December Brings S&P 500 To All-Time High

By Charles Boccadoro

All fund risk and return metrics, ratings, and analytics were uploaded to MFO Premium Saturday, 30 December, reflecting performance through year-end. We used Refinitiv’s Friday data drop, which was last business day of year, to get an early peek at 2023 calendar year performance.

December is the second full year of The Great Normalization (TGN) market cycle. It also marks the 15th month of this market’s bull run and brings the Continue reading →

great horned owl

Standpoint Multi-Asset Fund (BLNDX / REMIX)

By David Snowball

Objective and strategy

The Standpoint Multi-Asset Fund seeks positive absolute returns through an “All-Weather strategy.” The fund holds a global equity portfolio built from regional equity ETFs. The strategy also invests, both long and short, in exchange traded futures contracts from seven sectors: equity indexes, currencies, interest rates, metals, grains, soft commodities, and energy. The managers attempt to participate in medium- to long-term trends in global futures markets and to produce a reasonable return premium in Continue reading →

Elevator Talk: Jeff Wrona, One Rock Fund (ONERX)

By David Snowball

Since the number of funds we can cover in-depth is smaller than the number of funds worthy of in-depth coverage, we’ve decided to offer one or two managers each month the opportunity to make a 300-word pitch to you. That’s about the number of words a slightly manic elevator companion could share in a minute and a half. In each case, I’ve promised to offer a quick capsule of the fund and a link back to the fund’s site. Other than that, they’ve got 200 words and precisely as much of your time and attention as you’re willing to share. These aren’t endorsements; they’re opportunities to learn more. 

One Rock Fund (ONERX) launched on Continue reading →

Insane markets, anxious investors, sane asset allocation

By Devesh Shah

A winter walk around the Central Park Reservoir

My friend “W” and I have gotten into a good habit of taking an hour-long walk around the Central Park Reservoir every few months. An hour’s walk is a perfect amount of time when two people speak the same language, are willing to not pretend or live in a fantasy world, are willing to engage in a two-way honest communication, and then want to return to their lives.

W is one of the Continue reading →

fountain pen writing a note

Briefly Noted…

By TheShadow


The merger of the BlackRock Capital Appreciation Fund into the BlackRock Large Cap Focus Growth Fund, originally scheduled to occur by the end of 2023, has been delayed.

Several iShare ETFs, iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF, iShares Expanded Tech- Software Sector ETF, iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF, iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF, iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF, iShares U.S. Financial Services ETF, iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF, iShares U.S. Consumer Staples ETF, iShares U.S. Transportation ETF. and iShares Semiconductor ETF will undergo a stock split. Shares of Continue reading →