Mutual funds have historically offered safety and diversification. And they spare you the responsibility of picking individual stocks.
Mutual fund managers are trapped in this rather deadly vicious circle: the more successful they are, the more money flows into their mutual fund. Then, it is more difficult for them to beat the market averages or even to match their own past performance.
The best argument for mutual funds is that they offer safety and diversification. But they don't necessarily offer safety and diversification.
I don't think that a mutual fund that invests exclusively in biotech start-ups or invests exclusively in companies in Thailand offers any great safety or diversification.
I think those who invest in mutual funds want someone else to do the thinking for them. But the fact that they can move the money around the family of mutual funds just through a phone call lets them feel that they can play tycoons.
The mutual fund industry and small investors are very relentless and very unforgiving if people don't perform.
What I find very interesting about the mutual funds managers is that here are people who are the new masters of the universe. They're managing billions, yet they're subject to this quiet daily tyranny of numbers.
Mutual funds give people the sense that they're investing with the big boys and that they're really not at a disadvantage entering the stock market.
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