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2009 Q1 Equity Funds Review

Published on 31 Mar 2009, by Tom Roseen
After the major indices posted their worst January and February returns on record (and keep in mind, according to the Stock Traders Almanac’s January Barometer: “As January goes, so goes the year”), March provided the best monthly stock gains in over six years, shielding us from a repeat of the disaster of fourth quarter 2008.

Special Topic: A Means of Mitigating Fund Losses in Turbulent Markets

Published on 13 Jan 2009, by Tom Roseen
In 2008 equity funds posted their worst one-year return (-39.54%) in Lipper’s database, which began in 1959. For this paper we compared and contrasted returns of open-end mutual funds screened on Lipper’s three-year Preservation rating to see if higher-rated funds (those with ratings of 4 or 5) mitigated losses better than lower-rated funds (those with ratings of 1 or 2) during this very volatile market period.

2008 Q4 Equity Funds Review

Published on 31 Dec 2008, by Tom Roseen
In 2008 equity funds posted their worst one-year return (-39.54%) in Lipper’s database, which began in 1959. The next closest losing year was 1974, when equity funds shed 24.35% of their value. However, a faint light at the end of the tunnel may be in sight.

2008 Q4 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 31 Dec 2008, by Jeff Tjornehoj
After a strong first quarter start (+2.17%), the Barclays (formerly Lehman Brothers—remember them?) U.S. Aggregate Total Return Index fell 1.02% in the second quarter and followed that with a minus 0.48% return in Q3 to stand at 0.68% through three quarters. This was followed by a strong rebound in Q4 (+4.58%) to end 2008 5.24% to the good.

2008 Q3 Equity Funds Review

Published on 30 Sep 2008, by Tom Roseen
Equity funds extended their losing streak in September for the fourth consecutive month, with the average equity fund declining 10.97% for the month—the worst one-month return since August 1998.

2008 Q3 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 30 Sep 2008, by Jeff Tjornehoj
When we last reflected on quarterly performance we noted that fixed income funds were dangerously close to breaking through the zero mark at the halfway point of 2008 (+0.15%) and that whatever momentum they had at the start of the year was rapidly eroding.

Special Topic: 2008 Q3 Hedge Fund Review

Published on 30 Sep 2008, by Ferenc Sanderson
Our hedge fund analyst discusses performance trends.

2008 Q2 Equity Funds Review

Published on 30 Jun 2008, by Tom Roseen
Despite posting plus-side returns during April (+5.16%) and May (+2.65%), in June equity funds suffered their worst one-month decline (-7.50%) since September 2002. But for the quarter the group managed to remain close to the breakeven mark, shedding just 0.15% of its value.

2008 Q2 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 30 Jun 2008, by Jeff Tjornehoj
To read our recent posting on equity fund performance, one might assume fixed income funds would have had a substantial run to the upside, particularly after equities suffered their worst one-month decline (-7.50%) since June 2002…but that would be wrong. Fixed income funds are now dangerously close to breaking through the zero mark year to date (+0.15%), and what momentum they had to start the quarter seems completely gone.

2008 Q1 Equity Funds Review

Published on 31 Mar 2008, by Tom Roseen
Wild market swings throughout first quarter 2008 played on investors’ psyches, and as a result equity mutual funds posted their worst three-month returns in 23 quarters. The average equity mutual fund declined 9.74% for the quarter ended March 31, 2008.

2008 Q1 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 31 Mar 2008, by Jeff Tjornehoj
While equities have indeed suffered, not every bond (or bond fund) has found traction. Formerly staid bond fund classifications such as Ultra-Short Obligation (USO) Funds (-1.63%), intended to be souped-up versions of money market funds, have actually lost ground this year.

Special Topic: 2008 Q1 Earnings Outlook

Published on 31 Mar 2008, by Ashwani Kaul
Reuters Estimates analyst Ashwani Kaul has crunched the numbers and offers listeners a look ahead at corporate estimates, sector by sector.

2007 Q4 Equity Funds Review

Published on 31 Dec 2007, by Tom Roseen
No Santa Claus rally was evident at the end of 2007. Despite consumers’ stepping up to the cash register and continuing to overstretch their mounting credit-card debt during the holiday season, recessionary worries, fresh geopolitical woes, and liquidity concerns pushed equity fund returns down for the quarter ended December 31, 2007. Equity funds posted their worst quarterly returns since second quarter 2006, declining 2.76%.

2007 Q4 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 31 Dec 2007, by Jeff Tjornehoj
As 2007 wound down it was increasingly clear that strains the credit markets would not find relief anytime soon. The subprime mortgage mess, which gave way to weakened housing conditions (although that begs for a “chicken or the egg” comparison) played a large part in the Fed’s decision to cut the Fed Funds rate a full one percentage point in three months to 4.25%

Special Topic: 2007 Q4 Earnings Outlook

Published on 31 Dec 2007, by Ashwani Kaul
Reuters Estimates analyst Ashwani Kaul has crunched the numbers and offers listeners a look ahead at corporate estimates, sector by sector.

2007 Q3 Equity Funds Review

Published on 30 Sep 2007, by Tom Roseen
Despite the rise in volatility, equity mutual funds’ third quarter returns were a pleasant surprise. Equity funds finished on a positive note, with the group posting its strongest monthly return (+4.34%) in September since January 2006.

2007 Q3 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 30 Sep 2007, by Jeff Tjornehoj
The headline news in Q3 was undoubtedly the FOMC’s decision to cut the fed funds rate 50 basis points to 4.75%. Throughout the quarter, traders and economists pointed to any number of statistics as evidence of a looming credit crunch and softening in the nation’s economy.

Special Topic: 2007 Q3 Earnings Outlook

Published on 30 Sep 2007, by Ashwani Kaul
Reuters Estimates analyst Ashwani Kaul has crunched the numbers and offers listeners a look ahead at corporate estimates, sector by sector.

2007 Q2 Equity Funds Review

Published on 30 Jun 2007, by Tom Roseen
Equity fund investors see fireworks in second quarter, but June returns disappoint. After many of the broad-based indices reached new highs on June 1, equity funds fizzled as interest rates rocketed skyward over concerns of increased domestic and global inflation.

2007 Q2 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 30 Jun 2007, by Jeff Tjornehoj
Bond funds short on expectations. The economy emerged from its first quarter torpor, not with great vigor, but with enough effort to confound the skeptics.

Special Topic: 2007 Q2 Earnings Outlook

Published on 30 Jun 2007, by Ashwani Kaul
Reuters Estimates analyst Ashwani Kaul has crunched the numbers and offers listeners a look ahead at corporate estimates, sector by sector.

2007 Q1 Equity Funds Review

Published on 31 Mar 2007, by Tom Roseen
Despite the mini-meltdown, over 90% of all equity funds post positive returns for the first quarter. Coming off one of the strongest quarterly performance periods we have seen in two years, it was not surprising to see the markets take a breather during first quarter 2007.

2007 Q1 Fixed Income Funds Review

Published on 31 Mar 2007, by Jeff Tjornehoj
The first quarter of 2007 is in the books, and bond fund investors have every reason to call this one a success. In fact, all of Lipper’s fixed income classifications posted positive returns as all but 16 funds (including share classes) gained ground.

Special Topic: 2007 Q1 Earnings Outlook

Published on 31 Mar 2007, by Ashwani Kaul
Reuters Estimates analyst Ashwani Kaul has crunched the numbers and offers listeners a look ahead at corporate estimates, sector by sector.

2006 Q4 Equity Funds Review

Published on 31 Dec 2006, by Tom Roseen
Equity funds post best returns in three years. Almost 99% of all equity funds posted positive returns in the fourth quarter; the average equity fund was up 15.47% for the year.
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