Investing in most mutual funds is a waste of time as they rarely offer any benefit over low cost index funds. Sure there are some exceptions of managers willing to hold unconventional portfolios like CGM (CGMFX), Fairholme (FAIRX), and Hussman (HSGFX) – but most simply track an index with more fees.
To give an example, I looked at the 9114 funds Morningstar ranks as “all-diversified stock funds”. Of these funds, the average performance is around -12% YTD, and only about 50 have positive performance YTD. The top five are:
|HRVIX||Heartland Value Plus||11.17|
|AARFX||Akros Absolute Return||7.81|
|HFTFX||Hennessy Focus 30||7.29|
Of the 158 long short funds, only 14 are positive, with the top five being:
|HSKSX||Highbridge Statistical Mkt Neutral Sel||7.99|
|DDMIX||DWS Disciplined Market Neutral Instl||6.20|
|HSGFX||Hussman Strategic Growth||5.01|
|MGAAX||Managers AMG FQ Global Alt.||3.98|
In a related note, if you had been following the simple TAA timing model from my paper, you would be up around 2% (gross of fees) through the end of July. Even a simple buy and hold would have flat performance YTD through July. . .