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I want to start this discussion to get the opinions of all of the talented investors here. I hope it won't get to heated and that ideas can be shared openly and respectfully Everyone seems to be very pro mutual fund here and I am not. My reason is primarily because the fund manager gets paid even if the fund looses money. Funds, except for a privledged few have lost money over the last little while and to me even with low dollar cost averaging it doesn't make sense. Am I missing something here?
 

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Fund managers will get paid regardless of fund performance, that's the nature of the beast. They are not guaranteeing you anything. You best bet would be to invest in ETFs or in securities directly if you have sufficient funds.

However, mutual funds do have their advantages. If you do not have much money to invest, it could cost you more to invest on your own once you account for trading fees. With mutual funds, you could invest as little as $50 a month (perhaps even less). And there are some funds out there with low MERs (eg TD e-series).
 

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You may want to do some research on Francis Chou - he recently gave back all the management fees charged on one of his funds since inception since it has a negative return over a few years. Not the first time he's rebated fees, and he's a well respected deep value manager. More importantly, he is truly different from the herd.
 

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Anyone see the CBC report last night excoriating both the Canadian mutual fund industry and brokerages? It trotted out the usual consumer advocates and I can't imagine the financial services industry was thrilled about it, least of all mutual fund companies.
 

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Anyone see the CBC report last night excoriating both the Canadian mutual fund industry and brokerages? It trotted out the usual consumer advocates and I can't imagine the financial services industry was thrilled about it, least of all mutual fund companies.
Did you happen to have a link to this? I'm searching CBC's website however I'm not finding it, or at least I don't think I am.
 

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I want to start this discussion to get the opinions of all of the talented investors here. I hope it won't get to heated and that ideas can be shared openly and respectfully Everyone seems to be very pro mutual fund here and I am not. My reason is primarily because the fund manager gets paid even if the fund looses money. Funds, except for a privledged few have lost money over the last little while and to me even with low dollar cost averaging it doesn't make sense. Am I missing something here?
My wife and I don't invest in mutual funds. It would have been very difficult for us to build wealth if we did.
 

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You may want to do some research on Francis Chou - he recently gave back all the management fees charged on one of his funds since inception since it has a negative return over a few years. Not the first time he's rebated fees, and he's a well respected deep value manager. More importantly, he is truly different from the herd.
Unfortunately, these funds are not available to just anyone. You need a minimum investment of $10,000 and to be an accredited investor as defined by the OSC, meaning you need to have a net worth of $1 million and annual income of $200,000.
 

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Spoke too soon. The above link is about financial advisors (April 12 broadcast I think). The program last night was about the mutual fund industry. There does not seem to be anything on their site. Hopefully it will be uploaded in the next few days.
 

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Unfortunately, these funds are not available to just anyone. You need a minimum investment of $10,000 and to be an accredited investor as defined by the OSC, meaning you need to have a net worth of $1 million and annual income of $200,000.
You do not need to be an accredited investor to buy Chou's funds, but you are correct about the $10,000 minimum. PACs are also available.
 

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Anyone see the CBC report last night excoriating both the Canadian mutual fund industry and brokerages? It trotted out the usual consumer advocates and I can't imagine the financial services industry was thrilled about it, least of all mutual fund companies.
I heard this Jon (Hi, by the way). It's all a great concern to me as my husband is already plowing our retirement savings (over half depleted during the recent—and possibly ongoing—fiasco) back into mutuals. He is encouraging me to do the same but I will do this only on a $10,000 a month for seven months basis. I want to get back into the market but wish I could do so with some confidence. Is this averaging out a good idea do you think? I'm in PHN Canadian Equities. They have done pretty well since early spring (better than the 1.25% or so I'm currently getting from ING).

Rosina
Fifties Schmifties
 

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I keep both an etf/index fund account and a trading account where I do all my stock picks. The etf account is still way underwater since the start of the crash and through the recent recovery. My actively managed account is near full recovery. Needless to say, I'm switching the etf account to stock picks. The mutual funds I'll keep are the bond etf's and high yield bond funds as I don't have the resources to actively trade government and corporate bonds. I'm also thinking about a global dividend etf, but haven't seen one I like.
 

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I've done a 180 regarding my views on mutual funds. I now invest mostly in stocks, except for low MER index funds. Many funds have very static portfolios so why pay the fees? For example, take dividend funds. If you check the top ten holdings in the more popular funds you will see the same holdings over and over again. Why not just buy the top ten holdings directly? Sure you will lose a little diversification from the rest of the holdings but any potential benefit will probably be made up by saving the MER. For example on a $100,000 portfolio that amounts to between $1100 and $2500 a year depending on the fund. Or, of course, if you have the money, you could choose to buy the top 15 or 20 holdings and you would get a pretty close proxy to the fund.

That being said, it may still be worth using mutual funds for stocks that would be more difficult to track -- perhaps international (I like Mawer) or small cap funds, but for Canadian or US large caps, I would go direct.
 

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If you've got enough capital, statistically you can diversity almost all of the non-systematic risk in a portfolio with between 20 and 50 securities.

I agree with Spidey. Mutual funds are good (though expensive) way to get some international exposure. After all, a typically retail investor is somewhat limited by the choice of markets in which they can purchase securities. Fortunately, there are a lot of ETFs out there, particularly on the US markets that can achieve that international exposure at lower cost.

On a related note, I used to trade equity ETFs, specifically EWJ (iShares MSCI Japan index) and EWT (iShares MSCI Taiwan index). The intra-day movements of these ETFs are highly correlated with the rest of the market (particularly the S&P 500). In fact, if you lined up EWJ beside the movements in the S&P 500 for the past three months, you will notice an uncanny correlation.
 
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