What fund ratings do and don’t tell you

By: Mark Jewell
Posted on: January 24, 2011

As a mutual fund investor, you don’t want to pay “the stupid penalty.”That’s what Russel Kinnel calls the difference between the best and worst funds. It’s a penalty that he’s studied closely as director of mutual fund research at Morningstar.Consider Morningstar’s analysis of the best and worst large-cap mutual funds over a 10-year stretch ending... READ MORE

Retirees looking to become entrepreneurs

By: Mark Miller
Posted on: January 23, 2011

One of the Steve Jobs stories circulating in the wake of the legendary Apple founder’s death is the line he used to convince PepsiCo’s John Sculley to join Apple Computer: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or come with me and change the world?”Jobs embodied the spirit of creative entrepreneurship — and the Apple story began when he was ... READ MORE

Some new funds and trends to consider

By: Mark Jewell
Posted on: January 07, 2011

With nearly 8,000 mutual funds on the market, there are already plenty to choose from. Yet in a typical year a few hundred new offerings pop up.Don’t write off all these freshman funds. It’s likely a select group will prove their mettle through good markets and bad, including a handful of recent offerings from managers with strong track records.Yet too many try to tap into... READ MORE

Good buys in healthcare and drug stocks

By: Steven T. Goldberg
Posted on: January 07, 2011

Healthcare stocks are cheap. Enactment of healthcare reform last year has Wall Street fretting that industry profits will be depressed. But those fears are unwarranted.With the aging of the population not only in the U.S. but throughout the developed world, as well as advances in medical technology, people will continue to spend more on healthcare, not less. Paul Larson, editor of... READ MORE

Not a big talker? Cell phone plans for you

By: Savvy Senior
Posted on: December 23, 2010

Dear Savvy Senior:What are the absolute cheapest cell phone plans available today? I’ve had a cell phone for nearly four years that I rarely use, but I like having it for emergency purposes. — Infrequent CallerDear Infrequent:For those who don’t use their cell phones very often but still want one for emergencies or occasional calls, there are a number of low-cost... READ MORE

The five best stock funds to hold in 2011

By: Steven T. Goldberg
Posted on: December 23, 2010

After the wretched stock market returns of the past decade, you can hardly fault older investors — especially those whose investment horizon is not measured in decades — for shunning stocks and seeking shelter in bond funds and bank certificates of deposits.But with CD yields at microscopic levels, and inflation and interest rates highly likely to rise in the near future,... READ MORE