You should not be able to trade in your car after one year. If you choose to do so, you should have no idea what its value is, for that would be an act of greed. Nor, if you should choose to buy a car one year old, should you have any idea how that model year has performed, for all that matters is how older variants of that car have performed.
A bit outraged? Well, a few months ago,
finally and grudgingly agreed to release one-year performance data on mutual funds. They had to be dragged , kicking and screaming, into doing so, and even when they finally agreed, they sourly seemed to suggest that anyone using those statistics might wish to have their head examined, because funds were meant to be bought and held.
Huh? Great stocks are meant to be bought and held, bad ones shorted, or sold when you realize they're dogs, and the rest bought and sold at the right times. Funds are not fundamentally that different, and the fund buyer should have every last piece of available information. It is not that buying and holding a particular fund is necessarily a poor strategy; it's simply that you should have every possible iota of information available to you as you make that, or another, choice with your fund investments. And then make your own choices.
We are, we believe, among the first places on the Web where detailed daily and weekly, as well as long-term, performance data (provided by Lipper Analytical Services) on mutual funds is available. In
, the section entitled
lets you get detailed data on the open-end fund of your choice; alternatively, by clicking on
, you can identify the top and bottom performing funds overall for the day, and the top and bottom performers by category for the week. (Daily updates by category would entail going down a dizzying number of decimal places.) And in
, we take a daily look at the most important developments in the world of money management--who's hot, who's switching jobs, who lucked out, who called a merger correctly. Even if you don't invest in funds, this coverage should matter to you. The death of pension plans means that mutual funds matter to every equity investor in this country, and many elsewhere.
If you're reading this, it probably means that you put up with us during last week's technical hitches. The Internet, wonderful as it is, has not quite gotten over its teething pains. We appreciate your patience and are working hard to make
a thing of technological beauty; for a blow-by-blow description of the Holyfield-Tyson match between us and our microprocessors, turn to
How We Did.
The short version is that we're beginning to feel like Evander, an underdog scenting victory.
launched, I occasionally envisioned using this space to build my contribution to the canon of great financial analysis and writing. Well, the canon, and I, will have to wait. Instead, this letter will, as it has today, talk about goings-on at
(and there are many of those), and to highlighting portions of the site that you might not discover if you confine yourself to the home page (and there are many of those as well). If and when I have something substantial to say, I will write elsewhere on the site.
Note finally that
will not publish new stories this coming Thursday, November 28, in order to observe Thanksgiving. Of course, the site--forums and all--will be available that day.
Ravi Desai, Editor-in-Chief