Cover image for Chuck Jaffe's lifetime guide to mutual funds : an owner's manual
Chuck Jaffe's lifetime guide to mutual funds : an owner's manual
Jaffe, Charles A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Perseus, [2000]

Physical Description:
xviii, 283 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1310 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Orchard Park Library HG4930 .J34 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Encyclopedic in its scope yet easy-to-use, this mutual-fund "owner's manual" is a one-stop resource for anyone who wants to go beyond the basics and start planning long-term, profitable fund investments. Breezy, readable, and organized into manageable mini-chapters, it will prove indispensable for investors with all levels of financial experience and knowledge. Syndicated columnist Chuck Jaffe is an idea coach to the ins and outs of mutual-fund ownership, from buying and selling funds to passing them on to heirs. He cuts through the clutter that confuses many investors and costs them money.

Author Notes

Charles A. Jaffe writes the syndicated column "Your Funds," which appears in over fifty newspapers nationwide and is read by an estimated twenty-five million Americans every week. He is also a personal finance writer for the Boston Globe . As one of the best-known experts in this area, Jaffe speaks at dozens of major personal-finance conferences annually and is a trusted lifeline for mutual-fund investors everywhere.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Much is made of the fact that nearly half of all U.S. households own mutual funds. Many of these households, though, select their funds from limited or restricted options as part of a retirement plan. Then there are those who have invested in individual stocks who may now be concerned by the growing volatility of the market. Finally, there are those who have yet to jump on the investment bandwagon at all. These two new guides are excellent resources for any of those among the three groups who seek more information about mutual funds. Jaffe is the personal finance writer for the Boston Globe, and his syndicated column on mutual funds appears in more than 50 newspapers nationwide. His manual provides an excellent, thoroughly comprehensive overview of the world of mutual funds. He covers all of the basics--from what mutual funds are to what different types are available--clearly and concisely. His encyclopedic guide will benefit anyone from the first-time buyer to the person on the brink of retirement. For the price, Jaffe's guide is the best, most complete single source of information about mutual funds currently available. Swedroe, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on index funds. A favorite of financial guru Jane Bryant Quinn, Swedroe previously touted index funds with The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need (1998). Index funds represent a "passive" approach to investing, but one still must choose among the several types available, and Swedroe offers helpful guidance. His main focus, though, is on making his case that index funds are the surest way to invest over time. He argues that no Wall Street portfolio manager can consistently outperform the market and that no investor can know more than the market does collectively. Swedroe shows why "past performance is not a predictor of future performance" is more than just a throwaway disclaimer as he takes on Wall Street and its "deceptive advertising practices," research costs, and trading fees. --David Rouse

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
A User's Guide to This Bookp. xvii
Part 1 When You Buyp. 1
Section 1 What is a Mutual Fund?p. 3
Section 2 Why Mutual Funds?p. 7
Section 3 Seven Steps to Buying a Fundp. 13
Section 4 Twelve Questions to Ask Before You Buyp. 19
Section 5 Characteristics of a Winning Fundp. 29
Section 6 Characteristics of a Losing Fundp. 35
Section 7 Investment Objectivesp. 41
Section 8 Types of Fundsp. 45
Section 9 Investment Stylesp. 57
Section 10 Riskp. 65
Section 11 Types of Funds Not to Buyp. 71
Section 12 Load Versus No-Loadp. 79
Section 13 Expense Ratiosp. 87
Section 14 Turnoverp. 93
Section 15 What Past Performance Really Says About a Fundp. 99
Section 16 Ratings Versus Rankingsp. 105
Section 17 Money-Market Fundsp. 109
Section 18 Bonds Versus Bond Fundsp. 113
Section 19 Tax Efficiencyp. 117
Section 20 Retirement Accountsp. 123
Section 21 Risk Measuresp. 129
Section 22 Registering Your Fund Purchasep. 133
Part 2 When You Ownp. 137
Section 23p. 139
Section 24 Monitoring Your Fundsp. 145
Section 25 Asset Allocationp. 151
Section 26 Diversificationp. 155
Section 27 Rebalancing a Portfoliop. 159
Section 28 Measuring Performance and Benchmarkingp. 163
Section 29 Figuring Your Real Performance in a Fundp. 167
Section 30 Fund Supermarkets and Wrap Accountsp. 171
Section 31 Paying Taxes on Your Fundsp. 177
Section 32 When a Fund Closes or Reopensp. 183
Section 33 What's a Nav?p. 187
Section 34 Your Fund's Paperworkp. 191
Section 35 How Your Fund Group Can Make Your Life Easierp. 199
Section 36 Dealing with Your Fund Companyp. 205
Part 3 When You Sellp. 209
Section 37 Deciding Whether You Should Sellp. 211
Section 38 Don't Make Excuses for Your Fundp. 219
Section 39 Take the """"Sell Everything"""" Testp. 223
Section 40 Analyzing What Went Wrongp. 227
Section 41 Tax Strategies When Selling a Fundp. 233
Section 42 Pulling the Rip Cordp. 239
Section 43 You'Ve Got Your Money-- What Next?p. 245
Appendix A How to Reach Your Fund by Phonep. 247
Appendix B Reaching Your Fund Family Via the Internetp. 265
Indexp. 273

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