It is no secret that the vast majority of mutual funds underperform their benchmarks. This is one reason why hedge funds grew like weeds over the last decade as many managers wanted to showcase their talents at going both long and short. Despite a volatile decade, many hedge funds have found stock picking to be harder than they first thought. Sadly, the ones that are hurt the most by this are investors.
Right now index funds have become a popular alternative, as a passively managed product should at least equal the benchmark. Still, we live in an era where the Dow Jones seems to always be hovering 10,000, the Nikkei cannot hold onto an upward trend and the European equity indices seem to be caught in the middle. Researchers at Dimensional Fund Advisors have released a study that shows the top performing 25% of stocks are responsible for all the gains in the stock market from 1980 to 2008. That means that 75% of stocks lose money. Since industry regulations mandate that a mutual fund has to be highly diversified, it is no wonder that mutual funds underperform. Have I mentioned that these funds charge fees to manage your money as well?
For those that have an interest in seeing their investments grow it is time to look outside the traditional investment box.
How about investing in currencies? The universe of currencies is small compared to that of equities. The chance that the euro, pound, yen or the US dollar goes to zero is small – very small. Just look at the woes in Europe - and realize that the euro is still worth more than the US dollar - and you get the picture. Transparency, liquidity and other important factors are all extremely high. Fees should be relatively small (swap points and other factors, which will depend on your broker) and you are your own manager.
Hesitant? Then take a look at your mutual fund holdings and tell me be about each company that you own. Not sure where that holdings list is? You shouldn’t be afraid of doing a little homework and investing in foreign exchange.
In terms of looking for information and strategic ideas, you should start at Currensee. Here there are investors and traders who show their trades, strategies and returns. Build a team and share ideas. Take a look at the ‘Strategy’ section, where you can see profitable and not-so-profitable trading ideas. In the ‘Community’ section, you can filter through these strategies to help you find one that matches your style.
Will the problems in the Euro Zone continue and help the US dollar gain versus the euro or has the euro hit bottom? Both the Australian and Canadian dollars are near parity to the US dollar, but can this continue? The yen has made sizable gains against most all currencies over the past few years, yet it has major fiscal problems. To say that there will be sizable moves ahead in the currency markets is an understatement.
You could always place more money in a mutual fund, most of which underperform, or you could manage your own money, learn the world of foreign exchange and look for returns in the world’s largest market.
This report is for your information only and does not constitute investment or business advice or an offer to buy or sell securities.
Be sure to read the full risk disclosure before trading Forex. Please note that Forex trading involves significant risk of loss. It is not suitable for all investors and you should make sure you understand the risks involved before trading. Performance, strategies and charts shown are not necessarily predictive of any particular result. And, as always, past performance is no indication of future results.