The author has had over 25 years in mutual fund investing. He favors Small Cap Mutual Funds over Large Cap Mutual Funds. To prove his case, he shows year by year, the average total returns in each of these categories for the years 1999 through 2010. The average total yearly returns were provided by Lipper. Small Cap Value and Blend funds returned 9.0% and 8.1% respectively and were clearly superior to the abysmal returns for Large Cap Value and Blend funds, 3.5% and 2.5% respectively, even when continued through the 2000 and 2008 recessions. Later, the author illustrates comparisons of outcomes over 25 year periods with various investment returns using a hypothetical initial investment of $5,000 and assuming monthly contributions which add another $5,000 per year. In order to safeguard assets at the onset of recessions, he examines easily accessible online private and governmental monthly reports. By using such reports, investors shouldn't hesitate to move their assets to Money Market Funds. Such action will prevent prevent serious erosion of accumulated assets and improve long term investment returns. He is critical of the very limited choices of funds available in 401k and 403b plans compared to those open to IRA investors. However, investors could be in both types of plans. For individuals comtemplating or are already in IRA plans, the author favors using Morningstar to guide their selections. Monitoring their portfolio with Quicken or its equivalent, investors in IRAs using Morningstar's ranking system, have the opportunity to increase their returns by 3% or more over fund averages. Over time, this difference can greatly enhance total retirement assets.
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