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Mutual funds cost a lot more than you think, and most underperform the market

Mutual funds cost a lot more than you think, and most underperform the market

When you’re too busy to follow stocks, it’s easy to turn investing over to a mutual fund or investment adviser, but doing so is expensive and often provides below-average returns. That’s why I put a lot of time into following stocks and looking for companies that might beat the market without charging me a 1% or higher

When you’re too busy to follow stocks, it’s easy to turn investing over to a mutual fund or investment adviser, but doing so is expensive and often provides below-average returns. That’s why I put a lot of time into following stocks and looking for companies that might beat the market without charging me a 1% or higher management fee. If you want a stock that is likely to move with the market, pick a good conglomerate like GE (which I own), Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart. They have pretty good portfolio management and stock appreciation records. These are not stock recommendations, just ideas worth investigating. If you pick your own stocks, you can trade for as little as $5 a trade at a discount broker versus more than $100 at a full service broker. But even that $100 can be less expensive on a reasonably priced stock that you hold for several years than the expenses run up by mutual funds that turn over their entire portfolios every year. ValueLine.com and Morningstar.com are my favorite investment advisory services along with Standard & Poor’s and other services provided free by discount brokers. Investor’s Business Daily (http://www.investors.com) also is a good investment tool. I link to wsj.com ($79 a year for non-subscribers to the Journal and $39, I think, for subscribers) a lot. You get free access to Barron’s. This weekl’s Barron’s says we’re in a bear market and health care stocks historically don’t do well in this kind of market.

Ben
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