From the March 2006 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Don't Knock Mutual Funds

While there was good information in your article "Far From Fossilized", January 2006, the line "....at a much lower cost than is possible with mutual funds" is simply untrue. While at 1.5% to 2.25% their cost may be lower than the typical Big House wrap account, we have been providing excellent results using primarily mutual funds for clients at an average total cost including fund fees of 1.3% to 1.75%, and we are not the only ones doing so.

One of the great benefits of mutual funds is the ability to gain diversified and managed or indexed holdings in many areas, without having the hassle of dealing with many individual securities. You can also work with those multiple areas or classes with appropriate amounts for even those clients without multi-million dollar portfolios. As you can see from Advisors Capital results in '05, being fairly singularly focused on U.S. value stocks can have its limitations.

The concept of splitting duties and specializing is an important one. In fact a future article or articles defining the various service roles and appropriate pricing for them could be quite valuable to your readership.

Bill Ramsay, CFP

Financial Symmetry, Inc.

Raleigh, North Carolina

No One Does It Better

I'm emailing to compliment Mark Tibergien on the quality of the column he writes for Investment Advisor. It's the thing I read first, which says a lot.

I get nearly all the relevant industry publications and there isn't anyone out there as on point as he is. In particular, the column "Rites of Passage" is an example of the kind issue that he's not afraid to take on, and as a result, he has helped to open up new discussions.

It really is unbelievable how consistently creative, funny, strategic, and poignant he manages to be each month.

I look forward to more in 2006.

Matt Hall, Principal

Hill Investment Group

St. Louis, Missouri

What's The Story With This Guy, Anyway?

With all due respect, what is the deal with Gary Shilling, one of your panelists regarding portfolio allocations [see Asset Allocations] and "market predictor"?

Is he related to someone who owns the magazine?

I've been reading your magazine monthly and am always amused at how he sticks out like a sore thumb each time I read his allocations. I just shake my head and wonder how he can retain clients with his allocation recommendations and outlooks.

The final straw was to see his 2005 predictions vs. his peers and the actual results in the article "Silk Purses" (February 2006). I'm guessing if we look at his annual results over the years, he is WAY, WAY off!

Why do you keep him on the panel? I say if his track record is as bad as last years', take him off!

I'm sure he is probably guessing that if he's so pessimistic each year that eventually he'll be right...and say, "I told you so"...but only after years of "mismanagement" of portfolios.

I know he's only a panelist, but since he's published, there might be a number of people that actually follow his allocations/recommendations.

Just wondering,

David B.

Financial Advisor

Scottsdale, Arizona

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