The Envelope Please. And the Winner is...
Kyle is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The awards season is upon us. Sure, the Academy Awards are entertaining. But seriously, when is the last time you can honestly say you loved the film that won Best Picture? The Golden Globe and People’s Choice Award shows are basically avenues for some of those that felt “snubbed” so they get a piece of hardware that ultimately becomes nothing more than a doorstop or a paperweight. Behold. The financial Oscars...
Morningstar (NASDAQ: MORN) recently announced the Fund Managers of the Year. They are separated in three categories: Domestic-Stock Manager of the Year, Fixed-Income Manager of the Year and International-Stock Manager of the Year.
I have no stake in any of the funds mentioned.
It was a very tough year for International stocks, especially for European stocks and toward the latter part of the year, Chinese equities. Tweedy, Browne Global Value Fund (TBGVX), took the honors for International-Stock Manager of the Year (they also won in 2000). The return for 2011 was roughly -4.6%. There could possibly be more downside, given their European exposure, but their long-term track record puts them here.
Fixed income was a difficult area, as well. Fidelity New Markets (FNMIX), snagged this tricky category for 2011. The YTD return was a shade under +6.5%.
I am familiar with the Domestic-Stock Manager of the Year, as I have a Roth IRA for my son with another of their funds. The Artisan Value Funds Mid and Small Cap (ARTQX) and (ARTVX), with 2011 returns of +6% and -1.8%, respectively, took the prize.
Morningstar also announced that Costco (NASDAQ: COST) CEO Jim Sinegal was their CEO of the Year. Costco has been a “best of breed” stock for quite a while. I have no position in Costco, and with the reigning CEO of the Year stepping down, I don’t expect to start a position any time soon.
The reason I mention the award winning mutual funds is because it is a great way to get started with investing. Mutual funds are an easy way to start your investment process. Most offer a minimal investment, with a recurring monthly investment amount you can set up through an automatic withdrawal. Just because you invest your funds with a mutual fund manager, that in no way means you should not do your homework. Look at low, or no-load funds, check out the prospectus for each fund, major holdings, as well as return rates for 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year performance.
Anyone that is skittish to get involved with stocks, I typically recommend they look into mutual funds. It's an all too common attitude; not everybody enjoys high diving in the deep end, some folks need floaties. Mutual funds afford new investors an easy way to start and continually fund their future. Before anyone gets started, use a fine-tooth comb as there are too many mutual funds to name, but the funds mentioned above offer a decent starting ground. Hopefully Morningstar doesn't have the financial equivalent of a Sports Illustrated cover jinx.
Until next time, from the trading table,
Motley Fool blogger Kyle Metivier has no position in any of the stocks and funds mentioned, and if you are thinking of getting started in investing, you could do a lot worse than some of these.