Mutual fund transactions are an essential aspect of mutual fund investing that can determine the success or failure of a mutual fund. These transactions can either help or hinder a mutual fund depending on their cost(s), resulting capital appreciation, capital depreciation, dividend income, leveraging etc. If the mutual fund managers know what they are doing, these transactions will follow a sound strategy, comply with securities regulations, do so at a minimal cost and at optimal benefit to investors, the fund itself and the company under which the fund is managed.
WHY MUTUAL FUND SECURITY TRANSACTIONS ARE REVIEWED:
Sometimes investors want to know more about the fund than is readily available at any one given location or source. Mutual fund transactions are an example of this type of information because they can be quite critical to the fund and investors for investing purposes. Consequently, how to review security transactions in a mutual fund not only helps investors makes decisions as to whether or not they should invest in a particular mutual fund, but helps them understand the reasons why they should make either or decisions.
Finding information about mutual fund transactions may involve a little research which involves 1) locating the right sources of contact 2) requesting information or research methods from those sources and 3) decoding and/or reviewing the transactions. In some cases only partial information may be accessible due to the ability to find the information, time frame in which the transactions took place and/or the policy or regulations governing the mutual fund itself.
WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION ON MUTUAL FUND TRANSACTIONS:
Mutual funds are required to report transactions to investors on a semi-annual basis. (investopedia.com) The following link illustrates these requirements and rules by which mutual funds must abide by to maintain legality.
Locating mutual fund transaction information is the first step in reviewing mutual fund transactions. Without the transaction information available, nothing can be reviewed, so knowing where to look is important. The following methods and places may assist in locating mutual fund transaction data, research or contact information for obtaining reports of mutual fund transactions.
* Call the mutual fund’s investor relations department
* Contact the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
* Research Mutual Fund statistics that include turnover, and investments
* Ask a broker or advisor for more information about a fund’s transactions
* Review the Mutual Fund’s prospectus, 10K, 10Q and other reports
* Consult a securities official, attorney or research sources for additional information
HOW TO REVIEW SECURITY TRANSACTIONS IN A MUTUAL FUND:
Reviewing a mutual fund transaction report, if available, should not be unlike studying a financial statement such as a statement of cash flow, income statement, tax reports, account books etc. The mutual fund transactions should reveal information about the mutual fund and allow the reviewer to glean how the fund’s management makes decisions, why they make the investment decisions they do, where they invest, how frequently they invest and if the transaction strategy and tactics have proven fruitful to the mutual fund and its investors. Some of the things to keeping in mind when reviewing a mutual fund transaction report, in addition to items the transactions should reveal ideally include the following:
* The transactions should match the goals of the mutual fund
* Frequent transactions or a high transaction ratio aren’t necessarily good
* Reasons for the transaction(s) and research behind them
* Dollar or currency value of the transaction, time and date, volume of investment
* Product or financial instrument invested in
* Transaction fees, commissions and/or related expenses
* Loss or gain on transaction, and/or dividend information
In addition to the above information, mutual funds are subject to regulations that prevent them from legally investing in a certain manner. Due to the restrictions made possible through such regulations, mutual funds report their transaction information to securities authorities to demonstrate compliance. Some of the transactions a mutual-fund are not allowed to take part in are listed in the following securities industries regulation link. Despite reporting requirements, organizations such as the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFA) have advocated more transparent disclosure of mutual fund financial data to investors in mutual funds. (archives2.sifma.org)
Mutual funds invest other people’s money into assets the fund’s managers believe are quality investments. These investments should meet the goals of the Mutual fund(s) and investors in those funds. In managing assets within a mutual fund, the fund manager(s) may believe it is no longer beneficial to retain a certain investment or group of investments. Following this, the mutual fund may take a larger cash position or re-invest the sold assets into new assets. To do so a mutual fund transaction is necessary. In order for investors to better understand the workings and effectiveness of a mutual fund, reviewing mutual fund transactions can be helpful.
Obtaining and reviewing mutual fund transactions involves research, know how and understanding about locating the transaction information, what to look for and how to comprehend the information revealed by the transactions. This article has outlined this process however since mutual fund transactions may not always be available to investors despite being required on a semi-annual basis, the obtaining and reviewing of up to date mutual fund transactions may not always be a possible endeavor.