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  • Eric Hahn

Mutual Fund Observer - 2016

Dear friends, Welcome to the September edition of the Mutual Fund Observer, available at We posted the issue late in the evening of September 1 but didn’t want to bother you at home, so we decided to send the notification this morning. Highlights of the September issue include:

  • Snowball’s satirical offering of a Certificate in ETF Punditry, to help recognize and systematize the writing of bad articles about investing. (I actually like passive funds as the core of many folks’ retirement portfolios; I simply detest careless journalism that enjoins folks to make potentially disastrous decisions based on sloppy thought.)

  • Seafarer Growth & Income has announced their decision to close to new investors at the end of September; we analyze the decision, the fund and the alternatives.

  • Mairs & Power Small Cap Fund, likewise, announced its decision to close at the end of September. We profile the fund as a way of help folks decide whether to act while they still have time.

  • Michael Willis and the folks at Index Funds S&P 500 Equal Weight Fund (cute ticker: INDEX) think they’ve found a way to inexpensively improve the S&P 500. We invited them for an Elevator Talk.

  • Edward Studzinski offers the essential antidote to unending blather and seas of ephemeral numbers: reading. Real, actual, attentive, with-a-book-and-not-a-Bloomberg, reading. He makes a compelling argument that it's neither a frill nor a frippery; it's the most essential qualification prerequisite for serious thought and serious success.

  • Leigh Walzer, in an exceptionally clear essay, looks at the ongoing shift to passive strategies, which he suspects will end up controlling 60% of the market, and shows how to avoid “the closet passives” for whatever portion of your portfolio is allocated to active strategies.

  • Bob Cochran, esteemed financial planner and member of MFO's Board of Directors, reflects upon the impact of a sustained low return environment on retirement planning.

  • Charles Boccadoro debuts MFO Premium’s new fund matrix correlation generator and uses it to illustrate ways to streamline and strengthen portfolios.

  • The investing community lost two very good people in August, and so we take a moment to remember and bid farewell to Ab Nicholas and Bonnie Baha.

It’s all complemented by nearly five dozen manager changes, and our usual host of new names, a slew of liquidated funds, several high profile re-openings and a handful of small victories.

We hope you’ll join us at!


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