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Ummm, never mind about that mutual fund thing

Felix Salmon argues pretty convincingly that the data point that inspired my post yesterday on stock market cycles -- a big outflow from domestic stock mutual funds so far this year -- is bogus. When you add in exchange-traded funds and mutual funds focusing on foreign stocks, there appears to have been no outflow at all.

I still think we're caught up in one of those major market cycles where the bear market won't truly end until retail investors have completely thrown in the towel on stocks. We just appear to farther away from that turning point than the headlines -- and my post -- would indicate.

So, uh, buy bonds! Or stuff your cash in a mattress. Or become a financial blogger. I hear there's a future in that.

Justin Fox is editorial director of the Harvard Business Review Group and author of "The Myth of the Rational Market."

By Justin Fox  |  August 24, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
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Anyone who has a healthy skepticism of the experts would be foolish to invest in mutual funds. ETF's are the way to go.

Posted by: bharshaw | August 24, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"When you add in exchange-traded funds and mutual funds focusing on foreign stocks, there appears to have been no outflow at all."

That was my reaction too. As earlier comment shows, really who are the suckers who are likely to invest in Mutual Fund after decades of failed returns on that class? ETF, PIMCO Total Fund and foreign emerging market funds is the way to go.

This is a classical example where Media folks do not do the complete home work and peddle some half cooked data / report misguiding American Public.

Justin, please jump higher!

Posted by: umesh409 | August 24, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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