Bill Miller and Value Trust

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Bill Miller and Value Trust

Background Information
Bill Miller is one of the most renowned professional fund managers. This can be proven by the outperformance of the Value Trust, which is managed by him, compared to its benchmark index, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), for an astonishing 14 years in a row; and this marked the longest streak of success for any manager in the mutual-fund industry. By the middle of 2005, Value Trust is worth $11.2-billion. Bill Miller’s approach to investment management was research-intensive and highly concentrated. For instance, nearly 50 percent of Value Trust’s assets were invested in just 10 large-capitalization companies. While most of Bill Miller’s investments were value stocks, he was not averse to taking large positions in the stocks of growth companies. In other words, Bill Miller’s investing style is iconoclastic: “You simply can’t do what he’s done in the supremely competitive, ultra-efficient world of stock picking by following the pack…The fact is that Miller has spent decades studying freethinking overachievers, and along the way he’s become one himself.” Mutual Funds

A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that pooled the funds of individual investors to buy a portfolio of securities, stocks, bonds, and money-market instruments to meet specific investment objectives; investors owned a pro rata share of the overall investment portfolio (Bruner, 2007). The various investments included in a fund’s portfolio are handled by professional money managers in line with the stated investment policy of the fund. All mutual funds have a portfolio manager, or investment advisor, who directs the fund’s investments according to explicit investment objectives. Mutual Fund Types

Investors have different objectives, so various types of mutual funds are needed to help them achieve their goals. Most mutual funds fit into one of three basic categories: money market mutual funds, bond funds, and stock funds. Money market mutual funds hold cash reserves, or short-term debt investments issued by the government, corporations, or financial institutions (i.e., U.S. Treasury bills and bank certificates of deposit). Bond funds invest in debt instruments issued by corporations or government agencies. Stock funds are one of the most popular types of mutual funds, ranging from relatively conservative equity income funds to value funds, growth funds, aggressive growth funds, small-company funds, and international funds (Hirschey and Nofsinger, 2008). Advantages of Mutual Funds

Using mutual funds can help an investor diversify their portfolio with a minimum investment. When investing in a single mutual fund, an investor is actually investing in numerous securities and spreading investment across a range of securities can help to reduce risk but will never completely eliminate it. If a few securities in the mutual fund lose value or become worthless, the loss maybe offset by other securities that appreciate in value. Professional Management

Mutual funds are managed and supervised by investment professionals. As per the stated objectives set forth in the prospectus, along with prevailing market conditions and other factors, the mutual fund manager will decide when to buy or sell securities. This eliminates the investor of the difficult task of trying to time the market. Furthermore, mutual funds can eliminate the cost an investor would incur when proper due diligence is given to researching securities. Convenience

With most mutual funds, buying and selling shares, changing distribution options, and obtaining information can be accomplished conveniently by telephone, by mail, or online. Minimum Initial Investment

Most mutual funds have a minimum initial purchase of $2,500 but some are as low as $1,000. Disadvantages of Mutual Funds
Risks and Costs
Changing market conditions can create fluctuations in the value of a mutual fund investment. There are...
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