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A useful low cost noload mutual funds and ETFs book

One of the best investing books that can help you to lower your portfolio fees, lessen your investment risk exposure, and increase your retained investment returns

lowest cost index mutual fund personal finance book

This article reviews a no load funds investment book that is one of the most useful personal investment books you will find. Named Low Cost Mutual Funds and ETFs, this investment education book addresses the biggest challenge that many personal investors are confronted with: investing fees which are much too excessive.

Also, the book provides a clear and easy to understand description concerning what works regarding individual investing strategies, and it summarizes straight forward how-to information. With this book it is easy to find the lowest cost index and exchange-traded funds.

This book lists the 212 very lowest cost no load index in 30 different asset categories, plus it lists 208 very lowest cost ETFs in 27 separate categories. All these lists are screened with factors supported by academic investment research that are explained in this useful investing book. These top no load funds and ETF lists offer a full spectrum of low cost no load mutual fund and ETF choices for any investor.

This very useful book of over 250 pages was written and researched by Larry Russell, who is an experienced financial advisor in Pasadena, California who has degrees from MIT, Brandeis University, and Stanford University.

The problem with long term investments: The great majority of investors pay far too much in investing fees and costs and receive far too little in exchange for these costs

Charging individual investors extremely high for its purportedly greater insight, the vast majority of the financial services industry really just feeds on the returns and assets of individual investors without contributing net positive value. In a nutshell, you are simply a financial services industry revenue and profit center.

The investment industry makes the investing process overly and unnecessarily complex, by flooding the market with complex investment products and services that are unjustifiably expensive. Then, the investment industry provides self-interested and biased “free advice” on selecting investments, and this is the most costly “free advice” naive investors will receive in their lives. Without looking for less expensive investment services and products, such as the listed in theis book, investors are far more likely to receive recommendations to buy these excessively costly securities services and products.

Unjustifiably expensive securities products and services are your real enemy as you invest. The more that you allow the financial industry take from you, the less your family will have. Keep your assets. You do not have to participate in this unfair game.

With the help of this Low Cost Mutual Funds and ETFs investment book you can quickly reduce your long term investment fees, reduce your portfolio risk, and enhance your retained investing earnings. Reducing your investing fees down to the bone is the most significant investment strategy available to you.

For decades, inexpensive noload and more recently lowest cost exchange-traded funds have produced better returns accounting for risk. After taxes and costs have been accounted for, investors simply hold on to more of their investment return. In addition, investors who buy lowest cost index funds reduce risk, expend much less effort, are not subjected to pressure sales tactics, experience much less hassle, plus save time on their retirement investments.

You can make your own investments directly with investment funds, and you can a better job of it. All you need is correct investment information. For some absolutely straight investment eductation information on what actually works with individual investments get this book.

Information about the top no load funds and ETFs in this investment education book

lower cost mutual fund finance book

This investing book provides lists of 212 lowest cost noload and 208 lowest cost ETFs in 30 and 27 separate classes, respectively. Included noload and index ETFs are characterized by having no sales loads, no marketing charges, and the lowest management fees. In addition, included index funds have significantly reduced investment portfolio turnover which is associated with lower securities trading expenses.

The listings of noload  and ETFs cover:

  • Global, international, and US multi-cap, large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stock investment funds with low costs with growth and value equity investment funds
  • US, global, and international long-, intermediate-, and short-term government, treasury, corporate, municipal, and inflation protected fixed income investment funds with low costs
  • Money funds and real estate funds with low costs

With this book you can select a lowest cost retirement investment portfolio which is fully diversified by investment asset class and geography

Your savings with this useful noload investment book

Depending upon how big your portfolio is, this modestly priced investment education book would save you hundreds or thousands of dollars year in and year out. If you lower your total long term investment expenses and costs by just a single percent of assets a year and you have a no load mutual fund investment portfolio of $10,000, your investment savings will be $100 per year. If you have $50,000, you would save $500 each year. If you have $100,000, you would save $1,000 per year. Because total annual investment fees and expenses paid by the average individual investor add up to between 2% and 2 & 1/2% a year, the great majority of investors would in reality save two percent annually. Therefore, these annual investing savings on total fees and expenses savings could be double per year — across their entire lives.

Some might think: “Sure this is what I could save, however when I spend more, I would receive higher investment yields.” Sorry, unfortunately financial research clearly will not justify paying more in costs for either sales load or no load bond funds. These are just a few financial research quotes from this book:

  • “109 of these 111 comparisons indicated that higher bond expenses meant lower returns.”
  • “Annual under performance of the broker-sold funds at $4.6 billion dollars…and $9.8 billion in 12b-1 fees … other distribution fees such as loads.”
  • “The inferiority of active investment strategies … across the various countries, when the time horizon increases active strategies are increasingly inferior.”

If you actually think you will receive better investment return, when you pay increased fees versus reduced expenses, then you really do need to get and read this important investing book! This added investor education information helps this to be one of thebest books on investing out there.

Summary of author’s background

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This individual investor book, by Lawrence Russell has been written with his objective and in-depth knowledge concerning what really works in personal financial practices and retirement investment methods. He is a knowledgeable fee only financial planner in the Pasadena and LA, California area. His stated objective is “to improve people’s knowledge and improve their capability in managing their own finance and long term investment situations.”

Larry is the author and publisher of many personal finance publications on the web and the designer and developer of automated home lifetime financial planning software. Across decades, Larry has extensive knowledge in finance, economics, investments, taxation, accounting, probability, statistics, software development, and web technologies. Over twenty-five years, he worked as an executive and manager in the software industry with firms like Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard.

Retiring from the industry in 2001, Larry started a systematic and in-depth reading of the research literature that affected retirement investments and financial planning for his own interest. To make this research literature better available for individual investors, during 2003, he started to author and publish finance and investments academic research article summaries on his oldest how to invest money education website, The Skilled Investor. From 2003, Larry has authored and published in excess of 1,000 investments and personal finance postings across a half-dozen of his personal finance and investing sites. A portion of this personal finance book was drawn from these web articles, and links provided in this ebook enable you to explore his investing and personal finance websites.

Also in 2003, Larry started to develop sophisticated and highly customizable do-it-yourself lifetime financial planning software. This investing and personal finance software worksheet, VeriPlan, was developed at the beginning to serve as a personal finance decision support application for financial advisory customers. In 2006, he started to design and develop an individual user configuration of VeriPlan which home individuals can use themselves. VeriPlan is now the most sophisticated and highly customizable do-it-yourself life cycle personal finance software that is available on the public market for much less than competitors investments and personal finance software tools.

(Investing book cover watering can photograph taken by Alan Cleaver on Flickr.com)

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Choose Mature Noload Mutual Funds

Investing in more mature stock and bond and exchanged-traded funds (ETFs) allows you to evaluate the historical consistency of a fund’s record.

On average, the future portfolio returns of more mature funds are probably no more predictable than for very young funds with a similar style or strategy. However, the record of accomplishment of a more mature fund can provide more confidence in its commitment to its strategy and in its ability to remain in business. While there is no guarantee that an older fund will not fail, you have a better chance to avoid involuntary participation in the frenetic birth and death process of many infant stock and bond .

Very young simply lack records of accomplishment. Therefore, very young stock and bond are more likely to put you into the position of being an experimental guinea pig of mutual fund companies and the ETF industry. Concerning screening criteria, simply set a minimum age for and ETFs that you are willing to have in your investment portfolio. Three years should be adequate, and there is probably no reason to have a higher minimum. The point is simply to avoid allowing ETF and mutual fund companies to experiment with your money. Choose low cost noload that have been around for at least three years.

The financial securities industry is clever and tries very hard to attract your investment mutual fund and ETF dollars.

For example, data from Lipper, Inc. indicated that 1,460 new were started in 2003, 2,309 in 2002, and 2,392 in 2001.1 The actual number of truly new and distinct funds is smaller, because Lipper counts different share classes as separate funds.

Differences between share classes have nothing to do with the management of a fund’s portfolio. Instead, these share class differences are due to the structure of the sales compensation paid to the investment counselor or financial advisor who convinces you to invest in stock and bond . Different share classes simply assess higher or lower front-end and back-end sales load charges and higher or lower annual expense ratios.

Mutual fund companies and ETF companies might argue that they are trying to offer innovative new stock and bond to meet evolving investor demands.

This answer is largely rubbish. Mutual fund companies and ETF companies are trying to get your assets into their funds. A true innovation motive is quite unlikely, because tens of thousands of funds of all types already exist worldwide. For example, there are almost as many different US domestic stock , as there were U.S. publicly traded companies (This counts only U.S. firms that are traded on public exchanges and excludes over the counter (OTC) penny stocks.)

A more cynical view of this frenetic fund birthing process is that mutual fund companies and ETF companies recognize that fund performance is much more a matter of luck than skill. If fund families keep forming new funds, then some of these new funds will perform better by chance than the average fund within the particular investment style category.

The large number of new funds launched annually indicates that barriers to entry are very low. Fund families can launch a new fund and use their existing operations to support the new fund. If early fund returns happen to exceed its benchmark, then the fund family has a new fund to sell with a short but apparently superior performance record.

Small new with stellar investment fund performance records attract investor assets

Sometimes, new fund managers will get lucky by taking positions in smaller firms with more volatile stock prices, or they may pick some larger capitalization firms whose stocks might appreciate dramatically in the short run. The very short, but apparently stellar, record of accomplishment of some new funds makes it much easier to attract investors. These funds can live to see other days, if new assets flow in fast enough.

You should pay close attention the expense ratios of a very young fund and the expense-related footnotes in its prospectus. It is common for fund families to subsidize the management expenses of new funds for a time. By keeping the management expense ratio down, the funds can temporarily inflate performance.

If the fund’s securities selection is lucky, then more investors may come running. If the asset base grows quickly enough then could enable the new fund to grow its management expenses without increasing its annual management expense ratio.

However, if a mutual fund is not so lucky, its standalone management expenses will not disappear. Fund families do not want to subsidize costs of their small, languishing funds for an extended period, and the pressure will be on for the fund to “stand on its own.” Therefore, you need to watch for upward creep in the management expense ratio of a very young fund over time. Note also that the higher a fund’s expenses, the more likely it is that the fund’s net returns will fall short, when compared to a passive market index benchmark.

The new mutual fund grindhouse: Toss ‘em out — Chew ‘em up

In the Warner Brothers movie 300, the Spartans tossed to their deaths those babies whom they deemed to be inferior. Mutual fund companies also are Spartan in this respect. Unfortunately, most mutual fund companies do not extend this Spartan mentality to the management expense ratios that they charge investors across all their funds.

A new mutual fund that does poorly will often be put out of its misery, although this mortality process will do nothing for the misery of the mutual fund’s investors. Most of these under performing fund dogs (or puppies) either will be shut down or will be merged into larger funds. For example, “according to data from Lipper Inc. 870 U.S. were merged into other funds (in 2003), while 464 were liquidated. The pace is similar to 839 mergers and 555 liquidations in 2002, and 956 mergers and 433 liquidations in 2001.”2

As noted previously in this article, 1430 were created in 2003. When 2003’s 870 mergers and 464 liquidations are combined with these new funds, then the net number of new was just 96! Fund financial innovation certainly seems like an awfully harsh process, through which many investors find themselves being dragged. The cynic would say that the mutual fund industry’s rapid birth and infanticide cycle simply allows some of the fund industry’s inferior performance history to be swept under the carpet and obscured or erased.

Mutual fund companies tend to merge new, under performing into their inferior mature

Furthermore, to the chagrin of participating investors, when unsuccessful young are merged, there also is evidence that the older — into which these young, failed funds tend to be merged — will usually have inferior characteristics from the investor’s perspective. The larger and older existing funds into which new and unsuccessful funds are merged have a higher tendency to be both more risky and poorer performing than the average mutual fund.3

Apparently, many mutual fund companies do not want to lose the assets that they already have captured in their inferior new funds by liquidating them and issuing refunds. However, at the same time, they also appear not to want to merge these failed young funds with their more successful older funds and thereby drag down the performance history of these more successful older funds. Instead, they usually merge their sick puppies with their older dogs, which are large enough to stay alive within the cost structure of the mutual fund companies.

1) Hayashi, Yuka. “More Mutual Funds are Disappearing Despite Market Recovery.” Dow Jones Newswires. February 26, 2004.
2) ibid
3) Edwin J. Elton, Martin J. Gruber, and Christopher R. Blake. “Survivorship Bias and Mutual Fund Performance.” Review of Financial Studies, Winter 1996, Vol. 9, No. 4: pp 1097-1120

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