Kick The Tires

Before you buy another car you walk around the lot, kick the tires, slam the doors and look at the mileage indicator. That's an odometer. I know. That is about all the "research" you can do other than what the car salesman tells you and I hope you know better than to believe him.

The same goes for buying stocks or mutual funds. All the brokerage companies tell you to do your research before you buy. Kick the tires. Slam the doors. Look at the odometer. But how do you do this and can you really get the true story about any equity because you can't take it for a test drive and you don't want to believe any broker. Wall Street wants you to read the prospectus, study the annual report, find out about management, learn the P/E ratios, see that their sales and earnings are increasing and on and on and on gathering statistics until your head hurts.

OK, now you have all that information, but what do you have?

The Annual Report. The title ought to give you a clue. Much of the information in it is already a year old and much older depending upon when you are looking at it.

The Prospectus. Did you know that this complex document was not written for you, the investor? It was written for some Dilbert in his cubicle at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington who studies it to be sure it meets all the regulations for full disclosure, whatever that is. If you read the prospectuses for any stock or mutual fund that is a real winner and another where you will lose all your money you will find they are both almost identical. It is a waste of time to read these. They belong in the bottom of a birdcage.

Company management. Do you think they are going to tell you anything bad? Come on.

Shall we keep on going or are you getting the idea? What you are gathering is information that everyone else can access, some of which can be distorted and will not tell you the most important thing of all. Will the stock or mutual fund go up if I buy it? Your broker has all this information so don't ask him as he will regurgitate this mess and make it sound important. In other words he doesn't know either.

When it comes to buying stocks and mutual funds you cannot do any worthwhile research the way Wall Street tells you. When your stock goes down and you lose money they can look you in the eye and say you did your research and it is not our fault you lost money. It is their way to keep from being sued for bad advice.

Kicking tires the way the big boys tell you doesn't work. In a later column I will go into how to find equities that do go up and you won't need any of that Wall Street disinformation to find winners.

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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Active mutual funds fail to reflect index gains  Economic TimesThe Nifty, which has hit all-time highs for the second time in April, has advanced 12% in the last one year. But these gains are yet to reflect in many mutual funds' ...
How income from stocks and mutual funds are taxed for an individual  Moneycontrol.comCapital gains from transfer of unlisted share are considered as STCG where period of holding is less than or equal to 24 months, and LTCG when holding period ...
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Top 30 stocks that fund managers bought & sold in March; do you own any?  Moneycontrol.comData for equity flows into a mutual funds for March came as a breather after a weak February. Increase in net inflows in equity and income category led to the ...
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Mutual funds shooting themselves in the foot?  Economic TimesWhat if banks take a leaf out of Kotak and HDFC Mutual Funds' decision to direct investors to come another day to get their money instead of paying them on the ...
What top 5 money managers bought and sold in February  Economic TimesFebruary was the fourth consecutive month of decline in net investment into equity mutual funds.
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.
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.
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 a few mutual funds that stocked up on YES Bank in Q4FY19  Business StandardShares of YES Bank tanked 30 per cent in trade on Tuesday, after the bank reported a massive Rs 1,507 crore loss in the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-19 ...
Stay away from stock tips  LivemintIf taming the stock market was easy, everyone would do it.Losing money in market is real and facing volatility is part of the deal.
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 ...
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.
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, ...
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.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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.
From Axis to ICICI: Mutual funds lap up private bank stocks ahead of rally  Business StandardDomestic money managers aggressively bought shares of private sector banks in February. Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank were the two most-bought ...
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 ...
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 ...
Should I increase investments in mutual funds once I have more money to invest?  Economic TimesI am a 19-year-old student. I want to invest Rs 2,500 per month in mutual funds for 7-8 years. Can I increase the investment amount with time—once I have more ...
These are fertile grounds for long-term stock pickers, says Samir Rachh of Reliance Mutual Fund  Economic TimesSmall cap funds are going through a rough patch after a bull run in 2017. etmutualfunds.com spoke to Samir Rachh, fund manager, Reliance Small Cap Fund, ...
Fund managers raised stake in 194 stocks in Dec quarter. Is it a good idea to follow them?  Moneycontrol.comFund managers raised stake in as many as 194 companies in the December quarter as compared to the previous quarter. Stocks of some these companies have ...
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 ...
Shall I buy the HDFC AMC stock or mutual fund?  LivemintThe HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd stock closed 65% up on the first day of listing over its IPO price of ₹ 1,100 per share. Investors who sold on day one, saw ...
What Type of Mutual Fund Schemes Should You Invest in? Know Here  News18Equity funds are mutual funds which invest majorly in equity stocks of listed companies. They are considered to be risky but they tend to give higher returns in the ...
Large cap index mutual funds continue to outshine actively-managed large cap schemes  Economic TimesLarge cap index funds are outperforming the actively-managed large cap mutual fund schemes in the past one-year period. Kotak NV 20 ETF is topping the ...
Private banks, oil & gas companies find favour among fund managers  Moneycontrol.comMoneycontrol News. The month gone by saw a notable change in sector and stock allocation of funds from the mutual fund industry. On a month-on-month ...
Mutual funds may need smart bets on smallcap stocks to beat ETF show  Economic TimesSmallcap stocks could see up to ₹1 lakh cr inflow as fund managers look for potential winners: Analysts.
Birla MF looks to parachute out of Jet Airways crashing stock  Business StandardBirla Sun Life Mutual Fund (MF) — the only fund house holding Jet Airways shares in its actively managed schemes — off-loaded Rs 13 crore worth of shares in ...
Small- and mid-cap mutual funds open doors again, but should you invest?  LivemintL&T Emerging Businesses Fund and DSP Small Cap Fund have allowed *fresh* mutual fund investments, taking advantage of a continued correction in small- ...
Check out what top five mutual funds bought & sold during October selloff  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: Mutual funds stood resilient as industry's asset base increased to Rs 22.23 lakh crore in October in spite of a heavy correction in the domestic ...
Mutual funds' exposure to banks hits 3-month low of Rs 1.88 lakh crore in Sept  Economic TimesMutual funds' holding of banking stocks declined by over Rs 21,600 crore to Rs 1.88 lakh crore in September, driven by the correction in equity markets.
How diversified should a mutual fund be?  LivemintDiversification is an important parameter to evaluate a mutual fund portfolio. A diversified portfolio implies lower risk since the poor performance of one or a few ...
How stocks picked by mutual funds over 2014 to 2017 have performed  Economic TimesWhile the most wanted stocks of 2014 and 2015 have done well, the recent picks have disappointed.
As equity mutual funds' returns turn negative, debt outperforms  Economic TimesGains of 13% in the Sensex have not benefited equity fund investors, for whom returns in traditional debt funds investing in government bonds may have been ...
BJP’s Amit Shah has diversified stock investment portfolio; Rahul Gandhi prefers mutual funds  Economic TimesShah held shares worth Rs 17.56 cr as of March 22, while Gandhi has MFs worth Rs 5.19 cr.
Debt mutual funds with Zee exposure send investors into a tizzy  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Worries about the prospects of debt mutual funds holding securities of Subhash Chandra's Essel Group entities have resurfaced after Kotak Mutual ...

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