Chapter 20. Fund Ratings and Forecasters
In This Chapter
Steering clear of the lousy newsletters
Getting investment information from the best sources
My father loves data and analyzing it. He likes figuring out how things work. Before he retired, he was a mechanical engineer. (Impressively, he worked his entire career in one field.) He loves making charts and graphs. During the months that I wrote the first edition of this book, he was poring over a veritable truckload of data and information on mutual funds and investing.
So I wrote this chapter for people like my dad. Even if you're not an engineer by training, there may be a bit of a data lover in you. The challenge as you navigate the landscape of mutual fund data, newsletters, references, and gurus is discerning the good from the merely mediocre — as well as the downright useless and dangerous information and advice. Unfortunately, more of the latter are out there waiting to trip you up.
Avoiding the Bad Stuff
I start with the bad stuff because so much bad investment advice is out there, and odds are good that you may currently be using some of it or thinking of using it, or it may be pitched to you in the future. Finding out the tricks of the trade enables you to better identify the good stuff. But if you're pressed for time and can't bear to see the ugly side of the investment newsletter business, skip ahead to the good sources that I recommend later in this chapter. (I cover software and Web sites in Chapter 21.)