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New York Institute of Finance Guide to Mutual Funds 2000

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Mutual Funds are undoubtedly one of the great financial inventions of all time. Fund investors can get broad diversification and professional management at much lower cost and greater convenience than would be possible otherwise. However, with more than 12,000 mutual funds available1, finding the best funds can be a daunting task. That's where The New York Institute of Finance Guide to Mutual Funds 2000 comes in handy. Author Kirk Kazanjian sifts through the overabundance of mutual funds to reveal 100 superior funds which he calls "Powerhouse Performers".

The Powerhouse Performers are definitely a good place to start for investors seeking superior actively-managed funds. All 100 funds have excellent track records, reasonable expenses (you won't find Kaufmann here), and relatively low minimum investments. Most importantly, the funds were selected based on the track record of the current manager. As the author correctly points out, "The first thing to keep in mind when hunting for a stock fund is that the manager is everything." Accordingly, a few brand-new funds made the list because of a seasoned manager with an excellent track record.

Surprisingly, there is a chapter of the book devoted to index funds. That in itself is an indication of how far indexing has come. If this book had been written five years ago, there would likely be very little mention of index funds. The author is generally pro-indexing, although his obvious preference for active management shines through.

 

"If you want to buy and hold and forget about your investment until you're ready to touch the money years down the line, index funds may be right for you."

 

The New York Institute of Finance Guide to Mutual Funds 1999 is especially recommended for novice investors seeking a simple guide to mutual funds. The author covers all the essentials of mutual funds concisely and in an easily readable manner. It may be too superficial for some investors, though. Beginners seeking a more complete reference will probably be better served by Eric Tyson's excellent book Mutual Funds For Dummies.

The biggest drawback to the book is that the information is somewhat dated. Of course, this is to be expected with any book--the lead time required precludes inclusion of up-to-the-minute information. The situation is particularly acute for this book because the performance information is current as of June 30, 1998. Last year's near-bear market in August is thus missing from the performance records.

The New York Institute of Finance Guide to Mutual Funds 1999 is recommended for novice investors looking for basic information. It should also be useful for believers in active management who feel swamped by the overabundance of mutual fund information.

 


1 From "Fund Choices: 12,000 for You to Love And How to Identify the Wrong Ones", The Wall Street Journal, by Jonathan Clements (1/7/99, p. R1). It should be pointed out that the 12,000 figure includes multiple class shares common among load funds.

 

 

Author

Kirk Kazanjian is a nationally recognized mutual fund analyst and investment expert. He began his career as an award-winning television news anchor and business reporter, and is the former President and Chief Investment Strategist of Wall Street Advisors, an investment firm specializing in no-load funds. Mr. Kazanjian appears regularly on radio and TV stations across the country and is the author of numerous personal finance books, including Buying Mutual Funds for Free, and the highly acclaimed annual investment guide Wall Street's Picks. (from the cover)

IndexFunds.com Staff[/:Author:]