Critics say the popular funds are causing stocks to swing wildly together. Finding proof is another matter.
FORTUNE -- Are exchange-traded funds a prime culprit in one of the signature afflictions of the markets today -- the tendency of huge swaths of stocks or other assets to swing dramatically up or down at the same time? Critics are pointing their fingers at ETFs. But evidence for their nefarious role is lacking.
There's MOREScott Cendrowski, writer-reporter - Jan 27, 2012 5:00 AM ET
He already manages billions for elite investors. Now Cliff Asness believes he's perfected a better way for regular folks to play the market, and he's using that formula to build a mutual fund empire.
FORTUNE -- Even among hedge fund brainiacs, Cliff Asness qualifies as a high achiever. In just 13 years Asness has built his firm, AQR Capital, into one of the industry's half-dozen biggest players, with $42 billion in assets MOREShawn Tully, senior editor-at-large - Dec 19, 2011 5:00 AM ET
A look back at the highs and lows of the past year in the financial markets.
FORTUNE -- To borrow from the 1978 camp classic, "Greece" is the word. Looking back at 2011, the European debt crisis -- particularly Europe's protracted will-they-or-won't-they debate over coming to the aid of their Greco-roamin' common currency partners -- was probably the single biggest factor to impact the financial markets. As if that weren't enough, MOREDec 12, 2011 5:00 AM ET
FORTUNE -- In the turbulence of 2011, boring was beautiful for mutual funds. Riskier funds that owned shares of banks and emerging-markets companies got crushed, while safe, plain-vanilla portfolios focusing on utilities, health care, and consumer staples shone. And the top performers owned Treasuries; as investors fled risky sovereign debt, funds that held long-term bonds from the U.S. government returned 28% on average.
Among major fund companies, the top performer was MOREDec 12, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Legg Mason's superstar is closing out a legendary career. Too bad his investors can't afford to call it quits.
FORTUNE -- There are certain stock market lessons that most investors never learn. Among the biggest is "Beware of throwing money at a popular fund." That's one thing we should all take away from the career of Bill Miller, once the mutual fund industry's brightest star. Miller, who announced recently that he's MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Dec 7, 2011 5:00 AM ET
T. Rowe Price's Tom Huber says the category makes more sense than ever and explains what he's buying.
Interview by Amy Feldman, contributor
FORTUNE -- Tom Huber started managing the T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth fund (PRDGX) right around the time the tech bubble burst in 2000 and has seen plenty of market tumult since then. Through it all, the 45-year-old Wisconsin native has stuck with the slow and steady strategy of MORENov 21, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Icon Telecommunications & Utilities fund manager Robert Straus says the power giant shines even in uncertain times.
By Scott Medintz, contributor
FORTUNE -- Icon manager Robert Straus is a by-the-numbers stock picker. "We think it's very important to be non-emotional," he says. He examines earnings, growth rates, and risk, and invests in utilities with the best "value-to-price" ratio. The result: 6% annual returns over the past 10 years, more than double the MORENov 9, 2011 5:00 AM ET
The mutual fund firm's chief investment officer explains how to choose a mutual fund - and where to invest today.
Interview by Mina Kimes, writer
FORTUNE -- Litman Gregory aims to be the all-star team of the mutual fund world. The firm, which has $6 billion in assets, scours the industry for top managers, then commissions each to run a mini-portfolio for its Masters funds. The roster includes such standouts as Oakmark's Bill MORENov 8, 2011 5:00 AM ET
The embattled mutual fund industry didn't do itself any favors in 2010.
Just one in five large-cap fund managers outperformed the Russell 1000 index last year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. That is the worst performance on record, says quantitative strategist Savita Subramanian.
That's quite a showing, one richly deserving of the 30-plus straight weeks of stock fund outflows we saw at one point last year. No wonder people are throwing whatever MOREColin Barr - Jan 4, 2011 11:29 AM ET
He may be the most driven investor on earth. And now the founder of the $17 billion Fairholme Fund is making the boldest bet of his career.
Bruce Berkowitz is starting to sweat. It's just after 5 a.m. on a Thursday, and the man who is arguably the top mutual fund manager on the planet is briskly walking his usual morning route on the mansion-lined streets of his gated neighborhood in MOREScott Cendrowski, writer-reporter - Dec 10, 2010 3:00 AM ET
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