Published: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 21:02:02 +0000
Friday, January 14, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. Markets Lower The major equity markets finished the week lower as concerns about inflation and higher interest rates continue to weigh on investors’ minds. A weaker than expected December retail … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 16:58:38 +0000
Friday, January 14, 2022 Over the past 10 years, no sector has been worse than the S&P 500 Energy sector. It has gained just 2.4% annualized over the past 10 years, the only sector without a double-digit return, and all … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 13:00:29 +0000
Thursday, January 13, 2022 Lately we’ve seen two things swirling that some investors think could hurt them down the road. The idea that higher yields and rate hikes are bad is all over the place, but it all might not … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:58:57 +0000
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 Inflation soared 7% in 2021 according to Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as seen in the LPL Chart of the Day, its highest level since 1982. There … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 17:00:53 +0000
Tuesday, January 11, 2022 After negative returns for many fixed income sectors in 2021, the last thing fixed income investors wanted to see to start 2022 was more red, but that is unfortunately what happened. The Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 07 Jan 2022 21:27:01 +0000
Friday, January 7, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets Lower The major equity markets finished the week lower, as concerns about inflation and interest rates intensified after the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) minutes were released … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 07 Jan 2022 17:37:48 +0000
Friday, January 7, 2022 A disappointing jobs report against a messy backdrop of uncertain seasonal adjustments, diverging internal surveys, unknown future effects from the Omicron variant, and the expiration of the monthly child tax credit is unlikely to alter the … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 06 Jan 2022 17:28:57 +0000
January 6, 2022 In this week’s Weekly Market Commentary (click here) we shared some lessons investors may have learned—or re-learned—in 2021 (LPL Research strategists included). One of those lessons was about how valuations are rarely good timing tools. That lesson … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 05 Jan 2022 17:00:27 +0000
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 Here is one chart about Santa and five more charts (or tables) that caught our attention recently. Well, stocks did what they were supposed to do, which was gain during the historically bullish Santa Claus Rally … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 04 Jan 2022 19:00:45 +0000
Tuesday, January 4, 2022 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Equities finished December on a strong note as both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Industrials rose over 4%. These markets took in stride higher COVID-19 … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 04 Jan 2022 16:58:16 +0000
Tuesday, January 4, 2022 Fixed income investors aren’t used to negative total returns for core fixed income (as measured by the Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index) but that is exactly what happened in 2021. Last year, rising interest rates were … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Dec 2021 20:05:32 +0000
Friday, December 31, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets in the Green The major equity markets finished the week higher, as the Santa Claus rally continued to take hold even amid concerns about the … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Dec 2021 17:08:26 +0000
Thursday, December 30, 2021 Here it is, our final blog of 2021, and what better topic than the blog itself and the readers who make writing it so rewarding. Our aim with the blog is simple: every day provide market … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 19:23:17 +0000
Wednesday, December 29, 2021 In today’s blog, we will take a look at some of the best charts and tables we shared all year. There are so many charts and tables that sum up how special 2021 was, but at … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 28 Dec 2021 16:58:17 +0000
Tuesday, December 27, 2021 The municipal market has been a relative bright spot for core fixed income investors in 2021. While most of the other “safe” parts of the core fixed income universe have generated negative returns this year, the … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 23 Dec 2021 19:07:34 +0000
Thursday, December 23, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets higher The major equity markets finished the week higher, as the Santa Claus rally took hold even amid concerns about the Omicron variant’s effects on … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 23 Dec 2021 16:49:40 +0000
Thursday, December 23, 2021 As we head into the final week of a strong year for equities markets, we at LPL Research are thinking about the season of giving, to friends and loved ones as we wind down a difficult … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 22 Dec 2021 17:00:56 +0000
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 “If Santa should fail to call, bears may come to Broad and Wall.” —Yale Hirsh December is widely known as one of the best months of the year for stocks, but most don’t realize that the … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 21 Dec 2021 16:58:26 +0000
Tuesday, December 21, 2021 At the conclusion of last week’s Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting, the Fed released its dot plot, which showed the median forecast among officials is now for three rate hikes in 2022. Moreover, it showed eight rate … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 21:03:07 +0000
Friday, December 17, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets Lower The major equity markets finished the week lower, reversing some of last week’s gains on the back of this week’s Federal Open Market Committee … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 16:58:44 +0000
December 17, 2021 For those of us who haven’t already started holiday vacations, we all know this was Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting week. In anticipation of how much investors would be focused on the Fed this winter, we put a … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 16 Dec 2021 17:00:30 +0000
Thursday, December 16, 2021 The Federal Reserve (Fed) ended its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting yesterday and there were some notable shifts to monetary policy, although these shifts were largely expected by markets. After months of carefully communicating … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Dec 2021 17:00:14 +0000
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 As we head into the end of 2021, here are five charts that caught our attention. First up, last week was one of the best weeks of the year for stocks, and that could be a … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 14 Dec 2021 15:58:49 +0000
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday, but only two of its eleven underlying sectors could say the same. The first was technology, which as we noted last month, has been showing consistent … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 21:09:22 +0000
Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets Higher The major equity markets finished the week solidly higher, reversing last week’s declines. Traders took solace in the health reports that the effects of the Omicron variant may … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 16:58:35 +0000
Friday, December 10, 2021 The Consumer Price Index, the most well known measure of inflation, climbed 6.8% over the last year through November, according to data released today by the Labor Department. While in line with economists’ consensus expectation, that’s … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 09 Dec 2021 17:10:39 +0000
Thursday, December 9, 2021 The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report this week revealing that the number of American workers who are voluntarily quitting their jobs may have peaked, … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 08 Dec 2021 17:00:03 +0000
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 LPL Research is extremely excited about the release of Outlook 2022: Passing the Baton. You can see the interactive version of our Outlook here. In conjunction with the release of the Outlook, this week in the … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 07 Dec 2021 16:58:55 +0000
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 After months of carefully communicating the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) plan to reduce its asset purchases toward the middle of 2022, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell seemingly sped up that timetable during his Congressional testimony last week. While … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 07 Dec 2021 14:20:19 +0000
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 The entire team at LPL Research is so excited to announce the release of Outlook 2022: Passing the Baton. It is hard to put into words the amount of time and cross department organization it takes … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 03 Dec 2021 21:02:21 +0000
Friday, December 3, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets Lower The major equity markets finished the week lower. The markets continued to pull back following last Friday’s announcement concerning the new Omicron COVID-19 variant … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 03 Dec 2021 17:00:31 +0000
Friday, December 3, 2021 The domestic economy added just 210,000 jobs during November, well below Bloomberg-surveyed economists’ consensus forecast for a gain of 550,000 and below October’s revised tally of 546,000. The net revision to prior months was positive but … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 02 Dec 2021 16:58:01 +0000
Thursday, December 2, 2021 With recent concerns about Federal Reserve (Fed) policy and the Omicron variant, it’s easy to forget that we’re in a period of economic acceleration, although now with some added uncertainty. Yesterday’s manufacturing data confirmed that overall … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 01 Dec 2021 20:42:02 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, December 1, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Equities finished November mixed as the S&P 500 and the Dow Industrials finished lower while the Nasdaq Composite gained over 0.3%. Investor concerns surrounding the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 01 Dec 2021 14:10:54 +0000
Market Blog Wednesday, December 1, 2021 Here comes December, historically a pretty solid month for stocks, but now we have the Omicron variant wreaking havoc on markets. “What a difference a week makes. A week ago stocks were at all-time … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 16:58:27 +0000
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 Financial markets tend to be relatively quiet the day after Thanksgiving but this year was a notable exception. With the news that a new COVID-19 variant—Omicron—had been discovered and is spreading quickly, prices of risk assets … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 26 Nov 2021 18:08:39 +0000
Friday, November 26, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets Lower The major equity markets finished the week lower as markets gave up ground Friday during a holiday-shortened trading session given new COVID-19 variant concerns … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 17:00:34 +0000
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 The big news this week was Jerome Powell will remain in charge of the Federal Reserve (Fed) for four more years, so we wanted to do a quick blog that looked at how stocks have done … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 16:58:40 +0000
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 President Biden officially nominated Chairman Jerome Powell to a second four-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Fed) and elevated current Fed Governor Lael Brainard to Vice Chair of the Committee. Before the announcement, there … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 19 Nov 2021 21:05:20 +0000
Friday, November 19, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. U.S. and International Equities Major Markets Mixed The major equity markets finished the week mixed as inflation worries continued to play a role in investors’ minds amid an excellent third quarter … Continue reading →
A mutual fund pools the money of many investors to purchase securities. The fund's manager buys securities to pursue a stated investment strategy. By investing in the fund, you'll own a piece of the total portfolio of securities, which could be anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of stocks. This provides you with a convenient way to obtain instant diversification that would be harder to achieve on your own.
There are many mutual funds to choose from. The two most common types are stock mutual funds and bond mutual funds. A stock fund invests in common stocks issued by U.S. and/or international companies. Funds are often named and classified according to investment style or objective, which can be stated in various ways. For example, some stock mutual funds buy stocks in companies believed to have potential for long-term growth in share price. Other stock mutual funds look for current income by focusing on companies that pay dividends. Sector funds buy stocks in a particular sector, such as technology or health care. Still other mutual funds may purchase stocks based on the size of the company (e.g., stocks of large, mid-size, or small companies).
Although the name of a stock mutual fund generally offers insight into its investment style and objective, it is important not to rely on the name alone in determining whether a particular fund is what you want. The fund prospectus is like an owner's manual and contains information about the kind of investment style that the manager(s) employ, and the kinds of stocks that the fund will buy.
Note: Before investing in any mutual fund, carefully consider its investment objectives, risks, fees, and expenses, which are discussed in the prospectus available from the fund. Read the prospectus carefully before investing.
A bond fund is made up of debt instruments that governments or corporations issue to raise capital. They are designed to provide investors with interest income in the form of regularly scheduled dividends. If you bought individual bonds, you would need to concern yourself with their maturity dates and the reinvestment of your funds. Buying shares of a bond fund relieves you of these concerns; the fund manager handles them for you.
Bond funds are primarily classified according to the issuers of the bonds in the fund's portfolio and/or to the term of the bonds. For example, municipal bond funds buy bonds issued by municipalities. The income from these is free from federal tax (however, a portion of the income may be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax) and may be free from state and local taxes. Similarly, some funds invest only in U.S. Treasury debt instruments (e.g., bonds, bills, and notes) or high-grade (or low-grade) corporate bonds. Some bond funds, from all types of issuers, limit themselves to bonds maturing in the short, intermediate, or long term.
There are other types of mutual funds that you will encounter. Funds that invest in both stocks and bonds (or stocks, bonds, and cash alternatives) are often known as balanced funds. A money market fund buys extremely short-term debt instruments and is often used as a place to put cash, short term, until it is needed elsewhere. (Though a money market fund attempts to maintain a $1 per share value, there is no guarantee it will always do so, and it is possible to lose money investing in a money market fund.) Index funds attempt to duplicate a standardized, broad-based index such as the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) stock index or Moody's bond index by holding a portfolio of the same securities used by the index in an attempt to match the index's performance as closely as possible.
Diversification: Most mutual funds own dozens or even hundreds of securities. The managers often spread the fund's assets over more than one type of investment (e.g., both stocks and bonds, or stocks from a variety of industries). This exposes you to less potential risk than buying just a few individual securities. If some of the fund's holdings perform poorly, they may be offset by others doing well (though diversification cannot guarantee a profit or ensure against a loss).
Professional money management: When you buy shares in an actively managed mutual fund, part of what you pay for is the fund manager's expertise. The manager analyzes hundreds of securities (both current and contemplated holdings) and makes decisions on what and when to buy and sell.
Small investment amounts: Depending on fund rules, you can open an account and make subsequent contributions with a very small initial investment. You can even set up automatic investments through a transfer of funds from your bank account.
Liquidity: You can convert your mutual fund investment into cash (i.e., redeem your shares) by making a request to the fund company in writing, over the phone, or on the Internet on any business day.
Of course, mutual funds are not guaranteed investments. The price of all mutual fund shares can change daily, and you'll receive the current value of your shares when you sell--which may be more or less than you paid. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there can be no assurance that any investing strategy will be successful.
All mutual funds have expenses that investors must pay for, but the sales charge, or load, is probably the most significant and varied among funds. These sales charges are generally paid as commissions to stockbrokers, financial advisors, and insurance agents. The sales charge may be deducted at the time you purchase shares of the mutual fund (front-end load), leaving less to work for you, or it may be charged at the point of redemption (back-end load). Some mutual funds, known as no-load funds, have no sales charges.
Pay attention to a mutual fund's other fees and expenses, as well. Look at a fund's expense ratio, which is calculated by dividing the fund's annual expenses by the fund's average net assets. Expenses affect a fund's net return. The higher the expense ratio, the less money is being put to work for you.
One of the advantages of purchasing shares in an actively managed mutual fund is professional money management. The past performance of the fund is a reflection of the fund manager's ability to effectively manage its assets. You should research the current manager's history with the fund; was the fund's performance his or her achievement? If the fund has a new manager, make sure that individual's investment style matches your expectations.
Contact a VyStar Investment Services Financial Advisor today by phone (904) 908-2495 or email VISMarketing@vystarcu.org.
Check the background of investment professionals associated with this site on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.