Is there a tool out there where you plug in the 20 stocks you like and it spits out the mutual funds that most closely resemble your picks? -- Bruce Carton
Your question dovetails with a question in last Thursday's
column, in which a reader was searching for a fund to match her stock holdings.
Unfortunately for both readers, I have not been able to find a screening tool on the Internet that would make it easy to match a fund to a specific set of stocks. For example,
Morningstar's site offers an advanced fund screening tool, for which you have to pay a premium. The tool allows you to search for funds using numerous parameters, including sectors and regional exposure. But you cannot hunt for funds based on their specific stock holdings.
Morningstar's site, like many others on the Internet, delivers the top 10 holdings of mutual funds. But combing through the stocks of each fund to find the ones you want is probably not what you had in mind.
For a much heftier price, Morningstar offers a way to search for funds by their stock holdings, using its Principia Pro CD-ROM. The mutual fund version for this tool costs $495 a year for monthly updates.
If you are set on owning these 20 stocks, you might want to think about buying them yourself or hiring someone to manage your account for you.
Do you know of any better ideas? Send all your questions and comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your full name.
Not Easy to Manage 20 Stocks
A few professionals wrote in to offer some additional advice to reader
, who was considering investing in a portfolio of 20 selected stocks. Managing such a portfolio is not as easy as it sounds, according to one pro.
"I was surprised you didn't try to ascertain from Kat his or her ability or desire to monitor the 20 stocks closely," writes Jim McCall, portfolio manager of the
PBHG Large Cap 20 fund. "If each stock represents 5% of the portfolio, one needs to be diligent always in this volatile market environment, lest you log onto
MarketWatch.com and discover your portfolio is down 20% from where it was when you checked it last week!" McCall says.
"Obviously, my point is if you have a life and can't spend all day every day watching the market, leave it the those of us who don't have a life," he says. "I must admit, however, I do like the way Kat thinks!"
Others wrote in to suggest investing in a unit investment trust, a fixed portfolio of securities that has a finite life.
These instruments warrant more attention than a single line at the bottom of one of my columns. Look for more on UITs in a Fund Forum later this week.
TSC Fund Forum aims to provide general fund information. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell funds or other securities.