I don't remember when and why I started to become curious about mutual funds, but what I do remember was that I saw it as a middle ground between the snooze worthy interests of a time deposit or a savings account, and the roller coaster ride that is trading in stocks.
I knew that the interest offered by my savings account was a joke, but I didn't know how to start investing in stocks and the idea of disturbing a broker to place my pitiful investment left me anxious (Broker: Whut?! You want me to invest this?! I don't get out of bed for less than Php100k sister!).
So enter mutual funds.
I did a little research and Sun Life appealed to me because (1) I was already aware of its life insurance products; (2) I wanted to work for Sun Life before because it had an Alabang office,* and the idea of taking a trike to work made me happy; and (3) I knew Teeyah worked there.
The fact that I only needed to shell out Php5,000 for my initial placement was also mighty attractive to me. Thus I opened a bond fund, shifted to balanced fund after a few months and then promptly forgot about it for the next year or so. Fail.
In fairness to me though, I was busy paying off my credit card bills and had no spare cash to drop in mutual funds. But when I finally managed to wipe out my credit card bills, I opened a whole life insurance with VUL with Sun Life and reactivated my sleeping balanced fund account.
I'm happy with the performance of my balanced fund (15% YTD growth), but it appears that I could have been happier if I plunked down my cash with FAMI-SALEF instead. Check out this table of mutual funds performance from Randell Tiongson:
It's sad that Sun Life didn't even rank in the stock and balanced funds. However, Randell Tiongson says that performance is not the only thing to consider when choosing a fund, to wit:
xxx When investing in a Mutual Funds, there are many things to consider other than performance. I’d pay close attention to fee structures as one company differs from another. Other concerns should be investment track record, experience of fund manager, shareholder servicing, among others. In my experience, after sales servicing is a big must and not all Mutual Fund providers give the same effort in servicing.
Be careful on just looking at yields. Aggressive fund managers will have better performance during a bullish market but will have also have performed worse during a down turn.
I have no plans of pulling out my Sun Life investments and intend to ride it out for the long haul, but in the meantime, I'll be setting up an account with FAMI-SALEF as well to take advantage of its consistently top-notch performance.
When it comes to mutual funds, the question isn't "What fund are you investing in?", rather, it's "Why aren't you investing in mutual funds?"
*Although I soon found out that the Alabang office was merely a branch and all the corporate staff report to the Makati, now Taguig, main office.