Thinking of putting money into a mutual fund? I say, for the moment, think again. At least until the end of October, when many of the mutual funds in the country close their fiscal years.
We know that October is always a tough month in the market. One reason is that many mutual funds close their books at the end of the month. It has been like that for as long as I can recall. This means that some funds book their gains in October. You will get hit, tax-wise, for those gains if you come in during October. It's wrong, I know, but it happens. So why not wait until after these distributions are taken? If you are thinking about putting money in a mutual fund between now and the last day of October, may I suggest you check what the distribution has been in years past? See how much pain has been inflicted on new October shareholders before.
Strangely, this October tax effect plays a role in the market's decline. So many people are now getting wise to it that the mutual funds tend to take in much less cash in October. Consequently, they have less buying power than they typically have. And the media is filled with dire stories about market outflows, even though they are fairly logical given the historic fear of October and the unwillingness to be hit by a distribution.
Do a little homework before you commit. You will do better that way. I promise you.
Will I see you at the San Francisco
conference next week? On the one hand, I want it to be small and intimate, but on the other hand, a big crowd means that
does better. So I continue to urge you to go.
, my research associate, and I have been working for weeks now on correlating what causes tops. You won't want to miss it. Lots of new revelations.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long TheStreet.com, as was Cramer himself. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at
James J. Cramer.