With Dr. Kenneth A. Kim, Chief Financial Strategist, EQIS, Author of Mutual Funds Exposed
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Most Americans have relied on mutual funds for their retirement portfolios, but mutual funds have come under a lot of criticism lately – for a whole host of reasons that might actually surprise you and cause you to re-think your mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are often expensive, with up to 4% in annual fees per year in some cases; they can also be inefficient from a tax perspective, lack transparency, have adverse management incentives and can even be “sneaky”, as Dr. Kim puts it.
Mutual fund investors get “co-mingled” and the fund’s actions impact all shareholders, with associated costs that fall on everyone. It’s sort of like adopting other people’s financial problems – not something you want to do. For example, sometimes, mutual fund holders that lose money are often slapped with capital gains taxes that they did not benefit from. And many fund managers are not rewarded for out-performance, so they’re happy to just about stay level with the broad market’s performance. So know your mutual funds and see if alternatives to mutual funds might be better for you. And see if a “separately managed account” is right for you.