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Author: wcfenton Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75335  
Subject: Re: where to invest? Date: 1/1/2005 5:51 PM
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trecer...

Morningstar does offer some very valuable services for subscribers, at least once you get deeper into the offerings. What I'm criticizing is the value of their relatively short term ratings on mutual funds. I'm not alone in this criticism by any means. You can't assess the performance of a mutual fund based on a 3-5 year window.

And on the Champion Funds Newsletter, if you've read it and can criticize it with some kind of substance, fine, but I found it very useful when I subscribed. It gives some very solid information on fund philosophy, track record, leadership, etc. The trial subscription is free; worth checking out. I wonder how long it will be around, since it seems like it would be more useful as a one-shot source of info., rather than an ongoing advisement.

----------------

I think that the most important things an investor can do is:

1) Learn about how to invest by reading some of the better recognized books on investing such as:
....."The Coffeehouse Investor" by Bill Schultheis
....."The Four Pillars of Investing" by William Bernstein
....."Common Sense on Mutual Funds" by John Bogle
And then following some of the better web sites devoted to investing like the "Fool" and "The Vanguard Diehards":

http://www.diehards.org/

2) Establish an "Investment Plan" based upon personal goals and available investable assets.
3) Set a sensible "Asset Allocation". This is the most important part of a personal investment plan. This can change to some degree over the years, but change should not be a regular, ongoing process or it will defeat it's purpose of being a guide or roadmap that details how an investor should allocate their funds.
4) Rebalance as necessary (about once a year) to maintain the established asset allocation.

So...I wonder whether a newsletter is really necessary? If you have done your homework and initiated your investment plan, then all a newsletter can do is try to convince you to buy something that you do not need.

For the most part, serious investing is not an exciting process of continually jumping to the next hot fund or stock, it's sticking with your asset allocation. In addition, looking back at a fund's history as a part of decision making is a common practice because there is really not too much else to look at, but a fund's history is not a guarantee of future performance. No one can see into the future either, so newsletters that make predictions are guessing - just like everyone else.

As much as I enjoy the Fool...and as much as I have learned as a member of the Fool...I don't think that they can predict the future either. I wish they could, but they can't.

So...how much substance do you need?

Regards,
Bill
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