Category: Fund Investing
Learning investing lingo can be difficult. Even getting started with the basics can be confusing as there are many companies competing for our investment dollars.
A few days ago, I asked my youngest son if he knew what a brokerage firm was. He’s the smart one in the family but having never invested in the stock market (as a college student), he wasn’t sure exactly whether a broker was a person or a place. (The term refers to both a person who recommends and sells stocks AND a brick-and-mortar company that executes orders for clients online, in person, or over the phone).
It got me thinking that people often invest in the stock market in ways that don’t involve dealing with a brokerage firm.
There are many places that play a role in enabling people to acquire stock and invest in the stock market through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Here are five places that come to mind:
I learned a harsh lesson about portfolio turnover during a recession. I was forced to pay capital gains taxes on distributions of a long-term mutual fund holding, even though I didn’t sell any fund shares and even though the fund value had dropped more than 20% that year.
This experience taught me about portfolio turnover and related expenses, including taxes (along with the generally wise and tax-efficient approach of purchasing mutual funds for tax-advantaged accounts, not taxable ones). Since then, I have paid more attention to this notion, not in fear of turnover but recognition of its potential costs and benefits.
So, what is portfolio turnover and why does turnover matter?