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March 31, 2014: A Five-Year Review

The stock market ended the first quarter of 2014 on a choppy note. Despite this fact, when one thinks back to five years ago when the bull market began, it has been a very productive period for fund investors.Read more

Dividend Funds

Investing in dividend paying stocks and funds that have an objective of selecting dividend paying securities for income and/or capital appreciation is a time tested method for success as part of a model portfolio. They are popular among individuals for their retirement portfolios and as part of their taxable investments as well.Read more

Top-Performing Precious Metals Mutual Funds for January 2014

The Value Line Precious Metals objective group covers mutual funds that invest the majority of their assets in gold and/or precious metal stocks or bullion.  Gold can serve as an important (albeit smaller) component of an investor’s fund portfolio. This is due to the fact that it can act as a hedge against inflation and declining currency prices, notably the US$.Read more

Using a Flexible Fund in Larger a Portfolio

Flexible funds give the portfolio managers the ability to shift assets based on market conditions. This type of flexibility makes these funds appropriate as a sole holding, but can also be a benefit in a more broadly diversified portfolio.Read more

Mutual Funds: The Benefits of a Family Approach

Mutual fund investors face the choice of cherry picking funds or sticking with one fund family. There are benefits to going this route and negatives; there’s also a workaround.Read more

Fund Highlight: T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond Fund (PREMX)

Emerging market stocks get all the press, but many growing economies have vibrant bond markets, too. T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Bond Fund (PREMX) is a solid way to participate on the bond side of developing nations around the world.Read more

Options Strategies The Pros Use

Options have their place in an investor’s overall toolkit.  When used judiciously, options can help increase the income generated by a portfolio and provide downside protection to wary investors.  Two funds to examine that use options are Van Kampen Equity Premium Income Fund (VEPAX) and Gateway Fund (GATEX).  Although the news in recent years has highlighted the risks of certain investment strategies, such as options, the headlines shouldn’t dissuade investors from learning more. 

For Some Funds it’s All About the Manager

When investors look at purchasing a fund, they often review a fund’s objective and its historical performance.  While both are logical to examine, it is also important to know exactly who it is that is managing the fund, since this person is, ultimately, the one to whom an investor is entrusting his or her money.