Etrade: Mutual fund offerings

I would avoid using a brokerage that only offers funds of one company. Putnam, Janus, Fidelity etc. To better diversify, it is important to pick funds from different companies as well as from different sectors. Even though funds at one company may have different managers and focus on different market sectors, sometimes they use the same pool of analysts so funds covering ‘different’ market sectors may end up holding the same companies resulting in a less diverse portfolio. Besides, I am not aware of one fund company that covers all the sectors I want to cover and also beats the averages of funds covering those sectors, in every case. If any of you know about one, let me know!

As mentioned before, I will use Etrade for this hypothetical portfolio, but other brokerage may offer the tools to set up a similar plan. Motley Fool's website has a comparison of a few brokerages and Dogs of the Dow's site offers more information including customer feedback.

Etrade offers funds from many families and most critical to the wealth building scheme I propose to develop, it offers many no-load funds available for purchase for no fee (It advertises over 1000 of these). One family of funds I like to keep an eye on that is not well represented at Etrade currently is Artisan.

A search for no-load, no-fee funds finds 1158, but some of these are closed to new investors and some have minimum initial investments of $1 million or more, so the actual number of open no-load no-fee funds with minimum investment amounts of say $5000 or less is not clear. It would be nice if the fund screener tool let you exclude funds with high minimum investments or that are closed to new investors, but it does not.


Claude said...


Although it is a bit of a hastle, Yahoo's fund screener allows you to eliminate both closed funds and institutional funds (i.e. >1M initial investment). They also tell you which brokerages offer the funds. I've always found Yahoo's screener, because of both its results and its interface, to be the best.

Jouissance said...

Is this the screener you are talking about?


I can only see a screen for less than 10,000. This is a nice screener.

Morningstar also lists which brokerages carry the funds.

Claude said...



Have you ever seen prosper.com?

I think it's a pretty interesting concept. It's like a combination of micro-financing, ebay and peer-to-peer networking.