When Markets Turn Nasty




SURPRISE! HALFWAY THROUGH THIS SUMMER stocks took a nasty turn, erasing much of the year’s gains. Whatever happens next, this should remind investors that markets are more dangerous than recent experience has led them to believe. It’s a good time to subject your mutual fund holdings to serious scrutiny.

Our first, pioneering mutual fund survey appeared in 1956, early in the mutual fund era, and is now widely copied. Yet it has never lost its uniqueness: Its easy-to-understand but hard-to-duplicate ratings measure fund performance in both bull and bear markets. We call these “consistency ratings” because they are designed to measure performance under widely varying circumstances. More recently we added Best Buy ratings to flag funds combining consistent performance with low cost.

Our evaluations are based on a proprietary database of half a million digitized records, gathered in four decades of meticulous research.

Supervised by fund data editor Tina Russo McCarthy, the large team pictured above massages the numbers.

What do our readers receive they cannot get elsewhere? We filter out misleading data that fund managers sometimes use to polish up their numbers. Some funds change managers but claim the new guy was a pivotal decision maker on the old team. We won’t buy that. We report a change in management. In short, we don’t trust, so you can.

The Forbes mutual fund team: Standing: Robert Cyran, Steve Kichen, Tom Easton, Mary Beth Grover, Kurt Badenhausen, Tina Russo McCarthy, Nancy Finkel, Wendy Vividor, Cecily Fluke, William Sicheri, Scott DeCarlo, Doug Donovan. Middle: John Chamberlain, Brian Zajac, Joanne Gordon, Tom Condon, Ann Anderson, Eileen Henderson, Juliette Rossant, Stephan Herrera, Leigh Gallagher, Erika Brown. Bottom: Mary Summers, James Clash, Tomas Kellner, Dolly Setton, Anne Granfield.

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