Why balanced funds are better [FT]

Target date funds are the hottest product in the US retirement space. Assets in these funds have grown rapidly over the past five years – from $70bn in 2006 to $330bn in early 2011.
Target date funds are offered in a series. Workers invest in the fund with the year that corresponds to their expected retirement date. When the workers are young, the fund is tilted toward stocks; as the workers age, the fund shifts more into bonds.

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Why European funds are outgunning US rivals [Financial Times]

Why European funds are outgunning US rivals
(reprinted with permission from Financial Times)

By Robert C Pozen
Published: April 12 2011 16:06 | Last updated: April 12 2011 16:06
While the mutual fund was born in the United States, its European cousin – the Ucits fund – is becoming the dominant form of collective investing around the world. Ucits stands for “undertaking for collective investment in transferable securities” and is the name of the directive of the European Parliament that created them in 1985. Continue reading

New York Times book review of The Fund Industry

Demystifying the Fund Industry

Paul B. Brown reviews the latest book by Bob Pozen, The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed

It is amazing how little many of us really know about our mutual funds.

We may have a handle on the investments they hold — large-cap stocks or bonds or whatever — and some understanding of how they work: our money is pooled with a lot of other people’s, and we share the gains and losses proportionately. Continue reading

The Fund Industry – How Your Money is Managed

The latest book from Bob Pozen.
Every investor, student of finance and participant in the mutual fund industry needs to read this book. The Fund Industry details how mutual funds are marketed, regulated, and invested in stocks and bonds. The book also describes the critical factors needed to choose a specific fund for your investment or retirement plan, including what to look for when reading prospectuses, shareholder reports and third party reviews.
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‘The Fund Industry’: Learn How Your Money Is Really Managed

In 2009 more than 87 million Americans were invested in mutual funds, but it is unlikely that more than a handful outside of the industry had any idea how these funds work. Robert Pozen and Theresa Hamacher set out to educate the investor in The Fund Industry: How Your Money Is Managed (Wiley, 2011). The education is thorough, clear and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

What to Ask Your Company’s Auditors [Harvard Business Review]

When the world’s largest financial institutions had to be rescued from insolvency in 2008 by massive injections of governmental assistance, many blamed corporate boards for a lack of oversight. This was a problem we had supposedly solved nearly a decade ago, when blatant failures of corporate governance (remember Enron?) prompted Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.