Sunday, December 21, 2008

A winning week for mutual funds - Dec 21, 2008

The last week for mutual funds has been better than we have had for awhile here in the U.S. The last few months have been dreadful, in a huge, historically significant way.

Here are some up funds for the week. Who would have thought that results would fall so far, so fast?

Maybe gold is regaining some lustre. Gold funds had a great week, FSAGX (Fidelity Select Gold) +6.7% (1 wk) -27.3% (YTD) +19.7 (3yr total)) but YTD is not good, and VGPMX (Vanguard Precious Metals) 5.5% for a week is good, but YTD (-58.6) and 3 yr (-22.7) are poor. Longer term, this fund has made money for many.

Vanguard's REIT Admiral Fund VGSLX is up 8.2% for the week although it is down -38.2% YTD and -30.1% the last three years.

The other funds up over three years I found in Barron's are Treasury funds, stable but boring. They would cause me to search for a higher return in a rising market. Now they look like steady growers.

From Fidelity (in %):
FGMNX:GNMA////////// 0.5 (1 wk)///6.9 (YTD)///19.3 (3yr)
FGOVX:GovtInc/////// 1.7 (1 wk)///11.3 (YTD)///24.7 (3 yr)
FSTGX:Int Gov/////// 1.1 (1 wk)///10.2 (YTD)///23.4 (3 yr)

From Vanguard:
VFIIX:GNMAAdml////// 0.6 (1 wk)///7.2 (YTD)///20.4 (3 yr)
VFITX:ITTsry//////// 2.3 (1 wk)///14.0(YTD)///29.9 (3 yr)
VUSTX:LTTsry//////// 5.8 (1 wk)///24.5(YTD)///40.1 (3 yr)
VFISX:STFed Adml//// 0.5 (1 wk)///6.8 (YTD)///20.1 (3 yr)

This year has been especially harsh on everything from real estate to stocks and commodities. No news there, but the ideal money management stance is still somewhere between day trading and storing the money. The money has to have time and a place to grow. It takes money to make money. Returns may vary but there is always somewhere to make money. It is important to note that stock funds have had higher returns overall for the last 100+ years, especially if bought low and sold high.

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