ratings http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9288/all en-US What Is a Lipper Average, and Why Should We Care? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-lipper-average-and-why-should-we-care <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-a-lipper-average-and-why-should-we-care" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012141109Small_2.jpg" alt="Questioning man" title="Questioning man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In every financial magazine I read, I see companies bragging about how their funds constantly beat their five-year Lipper averages.</p> <p>That sounds awesome, right? Not necessarily, once we dig in to exactly what Lipper averages are and how impressive it is to be above the average.</p> <h3>What Is a Lipper Average?</h3> <p>Lipper is a company (owned by Reuters) that supplies mutual fund information along with commentary and tools about mutual funds. Lipper takes the results of actively managed funds and averages them as groups. They are broken out by fund categories (for example: large cap growth, small cap value), so it's easy to compare mutual funds within a category. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mutual-funds-for-wise-bloggers">Mutual Funds for Wise Bloggers</a>)</p> <h3>What Is Included, and What Is Not?</h3> <p>The Lipper averages only include actively managed funds. They do not take into account the benchmarks or indices (for example, the S&amp;P 500). The difference between actively managed funds and the indices is that there are overhead costs for actively managed funds, and lots of research goes into which stocks are chosen. In comparison, index funds have low overhead costs and typically include very low fees.</p> <h3>What Are Some Issues With the Lipper Average?</h3> <p>The Lipper average only takes into account funds that currently exist. If in 2008 a fund performed above the Lipper average for its category&nbsp;but for some reason isn't offered anymore, the Lipper average is retroactively adjusted to reflect only funds that are still in existence.</p> <p>Also, it's important to keep in mind that sometimes being above-average still isn't impressive. If all mutual funds in a category lose 20% in a year, &quot;only&quot; losing 10% could be considered great! However, if the benchmark only lost 5%, these rankings could be misleading. Investors may think that they're looking at a fantastic mutual fund when really <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-common-investing-mistakes">they could do better</a> simply investing in low-cost index funds.</p> <h3>So Where Should You Invest?</h3> <p>While doing better than your peers is certainly a good thing, there are often better investments we can make, and that is certainly the case here. How do we know? Well, according to <a href="http://www.standardandpoors.com/servlet/BlobServer?blobheadername3=MDT-Type&amp;blobcol=urldata&amp;blobtable=MungoBlobs&amp;blobheadervalue2=inline%3B+filename%3DSPIVA_US_YearEnd_2010_FINAL_0311.pdf&amp;blobheadername2=Content-Disposition&amp;blobheadervalue1=application%2Fpdf&amp;blobkey=id&amp;blobheadername1=content-type&amp;blobwhere=1243867401012&amp;blobheadervalue3=UTF-8">Standard and Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard</a> (PDF), most actively managed funds fail to beat their benchmarks. For example, all Large Cap Funds failed to beat the S&amp;P 500 benchmark over 65% of the time in 2010, over 57% of the time in the past three years, and over 61% of the time over the past five years. Suddenly, being average isn't quite as impressive.</p> <p>The Lipper average can be a good indicator if you're set on an actively managed fund and you're trying to determine where to put your money. While past results aren't always indicators of future success, I'd rather put my money in an investment that has done well over the past five years than one that has underperformed.</p> <p>However, in most cases, the fees we pay to those who manage these funds outweigh the superior performance we hope to get when comparing them to passively managed index funds, which usually have very low fees.</p> <p><em>Do you think beating the Lipper average is impressive? Or is it just a way to spin a statistic to attract customers?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-packer">Daniel Packer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-lipper-average-and-why-should-we-care">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds">Why Warren Buffett Says You Should Invest in Index Funds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-invest-when-youre-in-debt">6 Ways to Invest When You&#039;re In Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-top-mutual-funds-for-income-investors">10 Top Mutual Funds for Income Investors</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment lipper average mutual funds ratings Mon, 25 Apr 2011 09:48:19 +0000 Daniel Packer 529344 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 tips to avoid watching a crappy movie. http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-avoid-watching-a-crappy-movie <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tips-to-avoid-watching-a-crappy-movie" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2059598643_c8075fb904.jpg" alt="Thumb down" title="Thumb Down" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many of you do your research before you rent a movie or go to the cinema? I usually read a bunch of reviews and ask friends. Sometimes I’ll see a movie without reading any reviews, but those ones are usually adorned with independent film awards. Which makes me wonder…why did I just waste my time on one of the worst movies ever made?</p> <p>It’s something that happens to me once in a blue moon. I’ll go to my local RedBox armed with the two or three movies that I want. If my first choice is not available, my second usually is. But this time, all three of my choices were unavailable. </p> <p>That left me staring at the screen like a dog being shown a card trick, leaving my movie-viewing choice in the hands of the marketers. Trained professionals, like myself, who only show something in its best possible light. They produce the movie trailers that make the most rancid film seem like a genuinely good romp. They include stellar reviews on the front cover, but upon closer examination you see that the review came from the Podunk Weekly Gazette. </p> <p>With this in mind, I decided to forget the fake reviews and phony trailers I had seen and go for actors I really liked. That’s how I arrived at my choice – Strange Wilderness. And after 10 minutes of exhausting, mind-numbingly bad ‘comedy’ I decided to stop the film and check out the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s arguably the best place to check, as it combines all reviews and gives an average score. </p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/1881112.jpg" alt="SW" title="SW" width="144" height="204" /></p> <p>The average score for <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/strange_wilderness/">Strange Wilderness – 0%</a> .</p> <p>I ejected the movie and threw it back into the DVD case with disdain. I then drove to my local library and decided to rent a movie that I already knew had excellent reviews; <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/city_of_god/">City Of God – average score 92%</a> (94% from the top critics). I wasn’t disappointed, it’s a fantastic movie and one I’ll see again. </p> <p>So, what does this all mean? Here’s my check-list to avoid renting a big bad dud. </p> <p>1) Do your homework. <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com">Rotten Tomatoes</a> is a great resource, anything that gets over 60% is considered worth your time and money. If it gets below that, check out the top critics rating. If they give it a much higher score, it&#39;s probably still worth a look. </p> <p>2) Don’t trust the trailers. If you’ve seen a great trailer and think ‘that looks great’ then you may be seeing all the best parts of the movie condensed into 2 minutes. Comedies are notorious for this.</p> <p>3) Read reviews carefully. If a known entity, like a well-known newspaper or reviewer (Ebert) says something like “Best Movie Of The Year” then it’s probably a safe bet it’s a good flick. If you see words like “Outstanding” or “A Must See” then look a little closer to see where that quote came from. If you haven’t heard of the person, publication or website, forget it. And if there are multiple quotes that all come from the same place, that’s also a warning sign. </p> <p>4) Star power and box office numbers don’t mean anything. City Of God did around $8 million total, and has no stars – but it’s an amazing movie. Legally Blonde 2 took in $90 million and stars Reece Witherspoon – <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/legally_blonde_2_red_white_and_blonde/">Average score 38%.</a> </p> <p>5) Known entities don’t mean a guaranteed hit. In my case, Strange Wilderness was a mix of stars I liked and a production company I knew well (Happy Madison). I figured it would contain a laugh or two. I was wrong. </p> <p>6) Ask your mates. They’re your friends because (usually) you have lots in common. Chances are, if they liked the movie you will too. </p> <p>7) Don’t be afraid to walk away empty handed. If the movies you want aren’t in, and nothing looks good, there’s no need to settle. Dig out one of your favorite movies from home, that’s a sure thing. </p> <p>Hopefully, this advice will help you avoid those movie landmines. And remember, RedBox offers free rentals (<a href="/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">see my article here</a> ) and the library is a great resource. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-avoid-watching-a-crappy-movie">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-life-inc">Book review: Life Inc.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-a-good-and-memorable-first-impression">Making a good and memorable first impression.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs General Tips Lifestyle dvd movie rental ratings reviews tips Wed, 04 Jun 2008 15:59:36 +0000 Paul Michael 2146 at http://www.wisebread.com