How Much Information Do You Need?

You have decided to buy some stock or mutual funds, but wonder which one to buy. You need more information so you call your broker for advice. A so-called "full service" broker will bury you with all kinds of reports, analysis sheets and other pretty pieces of paper, but will probably try to sell you something that makes him the most commission.

Let's see. What does Wall Street think you should know? Of course, you will want a company that is currently favorable or "hot" ? like WorldCom used to be. Then you need to look at their financial statement that has been audited by a big accounting firm. ? like Arthur Andersen. You really should check to see if they have any big outstanding financial obligations that have little asterisks next to them in the Annual Report ? like under funded pension plans.

Of course you will want to get their financial statement to check their P/E ratio. That's Price/ Earnings or how many years of earnings it will take to make back the price of the stock today. The lower that number the better. For many years the average has been about 14. If it is above 20 or 30, well ??? We won't factor in the rate of inflation that will dilute the buying power year after year. And there are lots of other numbers like this Wall Street says you should be studying.

Maybe it is easier to buy a mutual fund. You can go to Morningstar for every bit of information about a fund you can think of. They will show the breakdown of the funds' portfolio, but that can easily be 6 months old. They do have those star ratings. From one to 5 stars, but I can't recall seeing any one star funds and hardly any 2 stars. Why? Well, I think they don't want to offend the fund manager even though he is not making money for his clients.

In fact, they love to give 5 stars to funds that have had losing years one after another. Unfortunately some of their information is out of date. They do list all the stocks the fund owns, but the fund may have sold them so you can't tell for certain what they are investing in.

Brokers want to send you reports, graphs, company updates, interim reports and I don't know what all, but stop and ask yourself, "If I can get this so can everybody else so what good is it?" Now you've got it. None. All that information will not tell you that after you buy it it will go up ? and that's all you want to know.

Basically there are two things you want to know. 1. Is it going up? 2. If it goes down where do I sell it to protect my capital? That's all the information you need.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005

In The News:

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Top 8 most common mutual fund investing mistakes and how to avoid them  Business StandardMutual funds garnered Rs 8,022 crore of its assets by way of SIPs in December 2018, 29 per cent higher than the previous year | Illustration: Binay Sinha ...
Here’s a better tool to judge mutual fund performance than simple 1-year, 3-year returns  Economic TimesOne invests in mutual funds to earn potentially higher returns than those in traditional investment products, and I'm sure everyone looks at the one-year, ...
Fund managers ready to go shopping after sharp correction in stocks  Moneycontrol.comDomestic fund managers are capitalising on the market fall and buying shares as they feel the valuations have become attractive after a sharp correction in the ...
Here are 30 stocks that fund managers bought & sold in February  Moneycontrol.comEven the month of February witnessed the lowest inflow in equity mutual funds in the last 2 years. Only Rs 5122 crore of *fresh* inflows took place in equity funds.
Common investment mistakes to avoid  LivemintRemember, time in the market is key, so don't get affected by volatile conditions.Here are some common mistakes you should avoid while investing.
Diversify equity portfolio with international funds  Economic TimesAs a part of diversifying your equity portfolio, wealth managers believe investors should diversify geographically using mutual funds. They can do this by ...
Investing in mutual funds? Size of fund doesn't matter  Economic TimesA bigger MF is not always a better fund. If you come across a well-performing small fund, invest in it.
27-year-old rule changed: Disclosure limit on MF, stock investment up for bureaucrats  Economic TimesGroup A and B officials had to intimate government if total transaction in shares or MFs exceeded Rs 50K.
Spending time in stock market is must for wealth creation: Chandresh K Nigam, Axis Mutual Fund  Economic TimesInvestors make the mistake of projecting recent market performance onto the future and follow the market.
Investment in equity MFs drops 35% to ₹1.11 lakh crore in FY19  LivemintNEW DELHI: Investors pumped in more than ₹1.11 lakh crore in equity-oriented mutual fund (MF) schemes in 2018-19, a decline of 35 per cent compared to ...
Hot and Cold Stocks of Mutual Funds in April 2019  MoneylifeIn April 2019, Larsen & Toubro and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation(HPCL) were the most preferred stocks of Indian mutual funds.
Top 10 large, mid & smallcap stocks MFs bought in April; do you own any?  MoneycontrolMutual fund (MF) inflows moderated in April even though Indian stock benchmarks rewrote history. The Sensex touched a *fresh* record high of 39,487 on April 18 ...
Stick to MFs if you lack knowledge on stocks  LivemintWhile equity is surely the way going forward considering your age and the financial goals, how you buy in equity is important.Direct stocks work very well if done ...
Equity funds record highest ever exposure in banking stocks in March 2019  Business TodayAs per the latest data available from the SEBI, overall deployment of equity funds in bank stocks grew around 52 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in the month ...
Why do wealth managers recommend multi cap mutual funds?  Economic TimesMany wealth managers believe multi-cap funds are a good starting point for long-term investors, specially those using SIPs for wealth creation.
Heres why investors should make index funds a part of their core portfolio  Business StandardWe often hear statements such as “Localisation is the key to success in India” or “What works in the rest of the world does not work in India”. These statements ...
Why HDFC Bank stock is among the top picks of mutual funds  Business TodayPrivate sector lender HDFC Bank, the third-largest Indian firm by market capitalisation, is among the favourite stocks in the portfolios of mutual funds. Despite ...

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