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The Mutual Fund Series: Dodge & Cox

This is a continuation of The Mutual Fund Series here on JosephSangl.com.

During each part of this weekly series, we will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

Today’s company is Dodge & Cox Funds.

DodgeAndCox

Dodge and Cox Funds is a privately owned investment management company based in San Francisco, CA. The company has approximately $212.31 billion of assets under management and has prided itself with conservative investment standards. Dodge and Cox’s reputation has recently been put to the test when it increased investments in AIG, Wachovia, and Fannie Mae in 2007, only to see the stocks of all three severely drop, making 2008 one of Dodge and Cox’s worst years.

What I Like About Dodge & Cox Funds

  • Stable History – Dodge and Cox was founded in the 1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression, giving the company a great reputation of strength, perseverance, and stability through tough times.
  • Manager-Retention Rates – Dodge and Cox has a remarkable 97% manager-retention rate because of their focus on long-term contributions, rather than focusing on the managers’ quarterly performance. From 2003 to 2008, less than 5% of managers left the company annually.
  • Excellent Stewardship – Dodge and Cox is at the top of the list when it comes to taking care of finances for investors. They have consistently shown strong customs, good boards, sound manager incentives, and organized records.
  • Low Expenses and No Fees – All five mutual funds that Dodge and Cox manage are no-load funds with an expense ratio kept as low as possible.

What I Would Like To See Improved

  • Minimum Investment Required – Like Fidelity, Dodge and Cox Funds have a $2,500 minimum investment required, which excludes a lot of investors.
  • No Other Services Offered – Dodge and Cox is a pure and simple investment company of funds, which could be a plus in the companies eyes, but most people like to see a full service investment company that can take care and manage their IRA’s, 529’s, 401(k)’s, and ESA’s.

Dodge & Cox Mutual Funds I Own

  • Dodge & Cox International Stock Fund [Ticker: DODFX]   This fund has taken a BEATING over the past two years.

Dodge & Cox Mutual Fund To Look At

  • Dodge & Cox Stock Fund [Ticker: DODGX] – The object of this fund is to seek long term growth of principal and income, as well as achieving a reasonable current income. This fund has existed since January 4, 1965 with total assets of $42.7 billion and an annual fee expense ratio of 0.52%. The fund also has an average annual return of 10.63% since the inception date.

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NOTE:   Clemson student Anna Briscoe, a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Financial Management has been so gracious to research and write the majority of this post.

The Mutual Fund Series: Franklin Templeton Investments

This is a continuation of The Mutual Fund Series here on JosephSangl.com.

During each part of this weekly series, we will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

Today’s company is Franklin Templeton Investments.

FranklingTempleton

Franklin Templeton is a global organization known for frugal and conservative investment management. The company is based in San Mateo, CA and serves in more than 150 countries with offices in over 30 countries. They currently manage $586.8 billion in investments and the number of investments is continually growing.

What I Like About Franklin Templeton Investments

  • Stable History – Franklin Templeton was founded in 1947 and for 63 years it has maintained stability and success.
  • Diversification – Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds offers 11 types of mutual funds for investors: International, Global, Growth, Value, Blended, Hybrid, Sector, Asset Allocation, Fixed Income, Tax Free Income, and Money Funds.
  • Globalization – Franklin Templeton has offices in countries representing 84% of the World’s GDP and the company is the second-largest cross-border fund manager.
  • Strong Capital Management – Franklin Templeton has been given strong credit ratings with a stable outlook from both Standard & Poor’s (AA- / A-1+) and Moody’s (A1 / P-1). The company’s dividend has also increased every year since 1981.
  • Variety of Products and Services- Not only does Franklin Templeton offer mutual funds, they also offer 529 College Plans, Coverdell ESA’s, IRA’s (Roth and Traditional), and multiple online financial tools.
  • Easy Transfers – If an investor has a change in their investing objective, they can easily transfer from one fund to another, with little or no cost.

    What I Would Like To See Improved

    • Minimum Investment Required – Franklin Templeton’s minimum investment required is $1,000, which is lower than the previously mentioned Vanguard and Fidelity, yet it is still four times higher than a mutual fund from American Funds.
    • Charges and Fees – Franklin Templeton offers very few no-load mutual funds (shares sold without commissions or sales charges). About 82.4% of funds are load mutual funds and about 17.6% are no-load funds. A no-load mutual fund usually outperforms front-end load (when fees are charged at the time of purchase) and back-end load (when fees are charged at the time the mutual fund is sold) mutual funds.

      Franklin Templeton Mutual Funds I Own

      I do not currently own any Franklin Templeton mutual funds.

      Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund To Look At

      • Franklin Growth Fund [Ticker: FKGRX] – The Franklin Growth Fund primarily invests’ in common stocks, across a variety of industries. This fund has net assets of $2.4 billion with an annual fee expense ratio of 1.00% and an average annual return of 9.92% since inception.

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      NOTE:   Clemson student Anna Briscoe, a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Financial Management has been so gracious to research and write the majority of this post.

      The Mutual Fund Series: Oppenheimer Funds

      This is a continuation of The Mutual Fund Series here on JosephSangl.com.

      During each part of this weekly series, we will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

      Today’s company is Oppenheimer Funds.

      oppenheimer

      Oppenheimer Funds is an asset management company with headquarters in New York, NY, with $255 billion of currently managed assets. Founded in 1960, Oppenheimer Funds was affiliated with the brokerage firm Oppenheimer & Company, Inc. However, Oppenheimer Funds is now owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Mass Mutual) and has no corporate ties to Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. or Oppenheimer Capital.

      What I Like About Oppenheimer Funds

      • Diversification – Oppenheimer Funds offer 12 types of mutual funds for investors: global, growth, large growth, value, quantitative, portfolio solutions, taxable bond, municipal bond, specialty, money market, cash reserves and institutional. However, Oppenheimer Funds has become well-known for their niche with bond funds in the mutual bond market.
      • Variety of Products and Services – Oppenheimer Funds offer other products and services, such as IRA’s (Roth and Traditional), 403(b), 401(k), 529 college plans, and Coverdell ESA’s.
      • Award Winning Website – www.oppenheimerfunds.com was designated as Excellent by DALBAR in 2009 for the websites functionality and usability.

      What I Would Like To See Improved

      • Minimum Investment Required – The minimum investment for OppenheimerFunds is $1000, which is the same as Franklin Templeton: not as high as some mutual funds, but you could find it lower elsewhere.
      • Front-End Load Funds – Many of Oppenheimer Funds’ top rated mutual funds by Morningstar carry large front-end loads of 3.50% to 5.75%, which will start off your investment with a 3.50% to 5.75% LOSS! Even worse, only 8.7% of Oppenheimer Funds’ assets are no-load funds.
      • Fund Performance – Oppenheimer Funds owns several five-star and four-star mutual funds as of February 2009, which are excellent ratings; however, the company’s municipal and taxable bond funds have recently experienced poor performance.

      Oppenheimer Mutual Funds I Own

      I do not currently own any Oppenheimer mutual funds.

      Oppenheimer Mutual Fund To Look At

      • Oppenheimer Equity Fund Inc. [Ticker: OEQAX] – This mutual fund’s inception date was October 2, 1947 with a focus on investments in medium to large-capitalization companies. The fund has assets of $1.62 billion, an average annual return of 9.54% since inception, and an expense ratio of 1.03%.

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      NOTE:   Clemson student Anna Briscoe, a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Financial Management has been so gracious to research and write the majority of this post.

      The Mutual Fund Series: Janus Funds

      This is a continuation of The Mutual Fund Series here on JosephSangl.com.

      During each part of this weekly series, we will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

      Today’s company is Janus.

      Janus

      Janus Capital Management is a subsidiary of Janus Capital Group, Inc. that is based in Denver, Colorado and it was founded in 1969 by Thomas Bailey. Janus Capital Group, Inc. is comprised of Janus Capital Management LLC, INTECH Investment Management LLC, and Perkin Investment Management LLC. All three of these subsidiaries currently manage $165.5 billion. Janus Capital Management handles balanced, alternative, fixed-income, and money market funds.

      What I Like About Janus Funds

      • Intensive Research – Janus is a devoted to thorough research of each stock they invest in. Millions of dollars are spent each year for research purposes.
      • Employee Investments – Janus requires every mutual fund employee to invest in the funds they represent in order to ensure that the interest of the employees is always in alignment with the interest of the clients.
      • Award-Winning Funds – Janus has been recently honored by Lipper with awards for delivering consistently strong risk-adjusted relative performance and the company has won multiple awards for individual funds. Around 95% of Janus’ funds are no-load.
      • Rejecting Buyouts – Janus Capital Group rejected buyout offers from MassMutual and FranklinTempleton, which is extremely important for their hometown Denver, CO. Even though Janus is a smaller fund company compared T. Rowe Price, FranklinTempleton, and Oppenheimer, the company has seen growing fund performance rates in the past few months, giving Janus hope of staying independent.

      Something To Consider

      • Reputation – Unfortunately, Janus was involved in the mutual fund scandal in 2003 by allowing favored clients to participate in illegal market timing trading. Janus eventually agreed to a $226 million settlement with federal and state regulators in 2004. Even though Janus seems to be showing great fund performance now, investors should always be cautious.

      Janus Mutual Funds I Own

      I do not currently own any Janus mutual funds.

      Janus Mutual Fund To Look At

      Janus Advisor Large Cap Growth [Ticker: JDGAX]- The objective of this fund is long-term growth of capital by investing in common stocks with growth potential. This fund’s inception date was February 5, 1970. It has an annual expense ratio of 1.04%, an average annual return of 12.06%, and a minimum investment of $2,500. Morningstar gave this fund a 3-star rating.

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      NOTE:   Clemson student Anna Briscoe, a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Financial Management has been so gracious to research and write the majority of this post.

      The Mutual Fund Series: T. Rowe Price

      This is a continuation of The Mutual Fund Series here on JosephSangl.com.

      During each part of this weekly series, we will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

      Today’s company is T. Rowe Price.

      TRowePrice

      T. Rowe Price is an independent, global investment company founded in 1937 by Thomas Rowe Price, Jr. The company is based in Baltimore, Maryland, with offices in 12 countries around the world. T. Rowe Price currently manages $419 Billion in assets.

      What I Like About T. Rowe Price

      • Award-Winning Company – T. Rowe Price is recognized by Morningstar as the number one mutual fund company based on fund return, stewardship, manager tenure, manager investment, and retention. The company has also been esteemed as having consistently strong risk-adjusted performance and was named Best Overall Large Company by Lipper.
      • Community Involvement - T. Rowe Price is greatly involved in their surrounding communities by volunteering, giving, leading, and educating. The T. Rowe Price Associates Foundation was founded in 1981 and it was established to provide assistance for nonprofit organizations, educate families, and provide scholarships.
      • Retirement Plan Management – T. Rowe Price has an excellent website that provides the client with account access, do-it-yourself planning tools, and target-date portfolios that allows you to invest and manage based on time. The company offers four retirement choices: T. Rowe Price Mutual Funds, One-Step Portfolios, Open Architecture (combined T. Rowe Price funds with outside funds), and Tradelink (self-directed). T. Rowe Price gives their clients many options for investing with exceptional website tools.
      • 100% No-Load! – T. Rowe Price provides investors with over 90 mutual funds with no front-end or back-end loads, as well as low fee rates.
      • Minimum Investment Options – T. Rowe Price Mutual Funds have a minimum investment of $1,000 or $2,500 depending on the fund. HOWEVER, they do offer a Systematic Purchase Minimum that allows you to invest $50 each month. This is a great option for those that don’t have $1,000 or $2,500 to put down on an investment!

      What I Would Like To See Improved At T. Rowe Price

      • Commissions Fees – T. Rowe Price charges higher stock brokerage commissions fees than other brokers. The cost is $20 for 1,000 total shares and 2 cents more for every share above 1,000. An investor could also be charged $118 if assistance is needed to make a stock trade.

      T. Rowe Price Mutual Funds I Own

      I do not currently own any T. Rowe. Price mutual funds.

      T. Rowe Price Mutual Fund To Look At

      T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund [Ticker: PRNHX] – This fund’s objective is to provide long-term growth of capital by investing in small, rapidly growing companies. The inception date of this fund was June 3, 1960. It has an expense ratio of 0.85%, an average annual return since inception of 10.69%, and requires a minimum investment of $2,500. Morningstar has given this fund a 4-star rating.

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      NOTE:   Clemson student Anna Briscoe, a senior majoring in Economics with a minor in Financial Management has been so gracious to research and write the majority of this post.

      The Mutual Fund Series: Fidelity Investments

      The is the latest installment in the weekly series featured at JoeSangl.com – The Mutual Fund Series.

      During each part of this weekly series, I will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

      Today's company is Fidelity Investments.

      Fidelity Investments is a very large full-service investment company.  They manage over three hundred mutual funds and offer a variety of services.  Some of the services they provide include retirement plan management and discount brokerage services.

      What I Like About Fidelity Investments

      • Options.  Lots of them.  With over three hundred mutual fund options, I can be certain that I can always find a fund that suits my investment goals.
      • Target Retirement Funds.  Along with Vanguard, Fidelity is a leading provider of target retirement funds.  They call their target retirement funds "Freedom Funds".  Target retirement funds are mutual funds that have a set retirement year attached to them.  As the targeted retirement year approaches, the fund portfolio will be automatically shifted toward a more conservative mix.  This is a really nice feature for those people who do not want to actively manage their retirement savings.
      • Full-service Investment Company.  I like companies that are well-rounded and can meet all of my personal investment needs.
      • On-Line Capability.  I have a 401(k) from a previous employer that I have left with Fidelity.  I have left it with Fidelity for a variety of reasons, but one reason is that I really like their on-line capabilities.  With a single click, I can see the total value of my investments, the individual return of each mutual fund, and the year-to-date performance of my overall portfolio.  I like that (but only when it tells me double-digit POSITIVE growth!).

      What I Would Like To See Improved At Fidelity Investments

      • Lower "initial investment required".  Most of Fidelity's funds require an initial investment of $2,500.  This really blocks out beginning investors.  This requirement is usually removed when investing in mutual funds via a company 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan.  However, there are a lot of people who do not have access to such a company retirement plan, and it would be very helpful if Fidelity lowered the initial investment required to $250 (like American Funds).

      Fidelity Investment Mutual Funds That I Own

      • ZERO.

      Fidelity Investment Mutual Funds That I Am Considering Purchasing

      • Fidelity Magellan Fund [Ticker: FMAGX]  It has been around since 1963, has generated a 18.09% average annual return, and has a lower expense ratio (0.54%).

      What Fidelity Mutual Funds do you own?

      Read about the other mutual fund companies reviewed as part of the Mutual Fund Series HERE.

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      The Mutual Fund Series: American Funds

      The is the latest installment in the weekly series featured at JoeSangl.com – The Mutual Fund Series.

      During each part of this weekly series, I will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

      Today's company is American Funds.

       

      American Funds has been around since 1931 and is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world with over $900 Billion in investments and over 40,000,000 shareholder accounts.  American Funds is owned by a larger company – The Capital Group Companies.

      What I Like About American Funds

      • Great performance long-term.  The track record of American Funds has been terrific!
      • Long-Term Approach.  They use a team-approach to manage their mutual funds.  They manage money extremely well in down markets.  They have absorbed hits like the 1987 crash and the bear market of the early 70s and have performed well.
      • Experience.  Their advisors have an average of 22 years of experience with American Funds.  That is unheard of in today's world!
      • Low Initial Investment Requirement.  Most American Fund mutual fund investments can be started with just $250 and a commitment to invest at least $25/month.  That is great!  It allows anyone to start investing!
      • Low Expense Ratios.  They have low expense ratios when compared to most mutual funds.  They are higher than Vanguard, but are about half of comparable mutual funds.
      • Tools.  They have a nice retirement planning website HERE.  I really like their "quick analysis" retirement planning calculator HERE.  It told me good news – that they believe I can retire someday!  What does it tell you?  You can also check out my "retirement nest-egg required" calculator (located on the "TOOLS" page or click HERE).

      What I Would Like To See Improved At American Funds

      • Sales Charges.  To purchase American Funds directly, one has to be savvy with on-line trading websites or else one will have to work through an advisor.  This means that there will be a "load" when one purchases American Fund mutual funds through a broker.  If one is just starting out, it could mean that one will have to pay up to 5.75% for all new money invested.  This load drops as more money is held in one's account, but the lower charges start after one achieves six figures in their account.

      American Fund Mutual Funds I Own

      I currently own six American Fund mutual funds.

      • AMCAP Fund A [Ticker: AMCPX]
      • Capital World Growth and Income Fund [Ticker: CWGIX]
      • Fundamental Investors A [Ticker: ANCFX]
      • New World Fund [Ticker: NEWFX]
      • The Growth Fund of America [Ticker: AGTHX]
      • The Investment Company of America [Ticker: AIVSX]

      American Fund Mutual Funds That I Am Considering Purchasing

      • The New Economy Fund [Ticker: ANEFX]  I like the growth potential of the markets this fund will be investing in.
      • EuroPacific Growth Fund [Ticker: AEPGX]  Same as The New Economy Fund – I really like the potential of the markets this fund will be investing in.

      What American Fund mutual funds do you own?  Do you have any American Fund mutual funds that you really like?  Any you really dislike?

      Love learning about mutual funds?  Love a little competition?  Maybe the "You Pick 'Em Mutual Fund Game" is for you!  Contestants have until the end of April to enter their mutual fund selection.

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      The Mutual Fund Series: Vanguard

      Welcome to a new series at JosephSangl.com – The Mutual Fund Series.

      During each part of this weekly series, I will be looking at a specific mutual fund company.

      Today's company is The Vanguard Group.

      Vanguard is one of the largest mutual fund companies in the world.  Based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, they currently manage $1.3 TRILLION dollars for their clients and offer 150 domestic funds and additional funds in international markets.

      What I Like About Vanguard

      • Target Retirement Funds.  Vanguard was one of the first companies to offer target retirement funds.  It is a fantastic idea to address the complete confusion that some people feel when making retirement mutual fund choices.  All one has to do is select their target retirement date and Vanguard will automatically shift the mutual fund to become less risky/volatile as one approaches retirement.  It really helps address the need to rebalance one's portfolio.
      • Very low annual expense ratios.  Vanguard is client-owned.  This means that the company is owned by those who invest with the company.  This results in Vanguard having the lowest management costs in the mutual fund industry.  The average expense ratio for their mutual funds is 0.20% (the industry averages around 1.50%).  This means that I get to keep more of the annual growth of my money.
      • Lots of mutual fund options.  With over 150 domestic funds and additional funds in the international markets, I have a lot of choice.  I like choices.
      • Full-service investment company.  Vanguard offers mutual funds, IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401(k) rollovers, 529s, ESAs, and brokerage services.

      What I Would Like To See Improved At Vanguard

      • Lower "initial investment requirement".  Most of Vanguard's funds require an initial investment of at least $3,000.  This rules out a lot of beginning investors.  Of course, this is not a problem when someone is investing within the bounds of their company 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan where minimum investment requirements are usually removed.

      Vanguard Mutual Funds I Own

      • I currently own one Vanguard mutual fund – Vanguard Institutional Index Fund [Ticker: VINIX].  I own this mutual fund as part of a 401(k).  You can see other mutual funds that I currently own by clicking HERE.
      • This mutual fund has a minimum investment requirement of $5,000,000.  The reason that I am able to own shares of this mutual fund is because it is offered as part of the company 401(k) plan.
      • It is a large-cap blend fund.

      Vanguard Mutual Funds That I Am Considering Purchasing

      • Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund [Ticker: VFORX]  This fund will automatically rebalance for me as I approach retirement.  I chose the 2040 fund because that is a target retirement year for me.  Vanguard has Target Retirement funds for every five year period from year 2005 to 2050.
      • Vanguard 500 Index Fund Investor Shares [Ticker: VFINX]  This fund tracks the performance of the S&P 500.  It has very low expense ratios.  It does need $3,000 to begin an individual investment.

      What Vanguard funds do you own?  Do you have any Vanguard funds that you really like?  Dislike?

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