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Friday, February 08, 2013

Sauter Tells You When to Dump a Mutual Fund

News summary by MFWire's editors

So your relationship with a mutual fund is going bad. When do you dump it?

Well, a panel of mutual fund experts put together by the Wall Street Journal is giving mutual fund investors dating advice. Did I mention that one of the panelists is former Vanguard [profile] chief investment officer Gus Sauter.

Here are some nuggets from Sauter’s valuable WSj advice to the mutual fund lovelorn:
First, it is important to dissect the performance of the manager from the performance of the market. In 2008, even the best managed equity funds performed poorly. Of course, the bear market dragged everything down on an absolute basis. So we must consider a manager's performance relative to the market, recognizing that even a well-managed fund will go through difficult periods of relative performance. Even if a fund has underperformed for a year, or perhaps two, it might not be appropriate to jettison that fund. There are some things to look for, though. Is the fund high cost? This is the handicap that causes most active funds to underperform, so it is one of the most important considerations across both stocks and bonds and segments of those markets. Take a look at this chart, produced by Vanguard using Morningstar data, which shows the relative performance figures of high-cost funds versus low-cost funds.
For more mutual fund dating advice, go to the Wall Street Journal article. 

Edited by: Tommy Fernandez

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