3.15.2007

Non-Retirement: Mid Cap Value Mutual Fund

Wylie Pick: Marshall Mid Cap Value Inv MRVEX

Selecting from mutual funds available through Etrade with no load or transaction fee and an initial $2500 investment or lower minimum and subsequent $100 or lower minimums, when looking for a Mid Cap Value fund, I use the Mutual fund screener to screen out options with 4 or 5 stars and find 4 options.

I'm bummed about this pick. When I am done building the entire hypothetical portfolio I'll note which ones I own and which different fund I own instead, if I don't own the one recommended for this portfolio. In each case I am picking a fund I own or one I would buy instead if I was looking for a fund in that category today. With this category I will be noting that I own Janus Mid Cap Value Inv (JMCVX). I wish it was still open to new investors so I could recommend it. It has cheaper expenses and good long term performance.

Actually, I do not think this fund is closed. Morningstar makes no mention of it being closed. More to the point, Janus does not indicate they have closed this fund on their site. The Janus Small Cap Value fund is closed. And the Mid cap fund is huge as far as how much money it has under management so I would not personally be disappointed if it did close. But folks... closed it ain't.

Here is Etrade's info for fund JMCVX:


If anyone wants to call Etrade's customer service, and try to get to the bottom of this, feel free, but I would not expect much success. In fact, if this kind of discrepancy drives you nuts, you may want to pick a different brokerage as I find this kind of inconsistency on a pretty consistent basis with Etrade (of course I have not used a brokerage that I would recommend instead of Etrade as long as you meet the minimum balance requirements). I do find though, that the inconsistencies are consistently inconsistent. By that I mean, they may be wrong about the fund being closed, but I bet they are wrong about it throughout their site including the tool that would actually allow or restrict your purchase.

Anyway, one of the 4 funds available for purchase, is not your general Mid Cap Value fund. Fortunately its title indicates this: Icon Materials (ICBMX). Looking at the Industry allocation, you can see that this fund is focused on the Materials sector. If I add sector funds to this hypothetical portfolio, I will check this out again.


The remaining three funds have similar returns. But only one of the three (MRVEX- The one in the middle!) is solidly invested in Mid Cap companies (Medium Market Capitalization) while the other two (SMCDX and HRSVX) have more invested in non-medium size companies than they do in medium sized ones.


Fortunately it also has the lowest expense ratio so that makes it an easy choice since we are building a portfolio of funds that are more or less true to their categories and have lower than average expenses: Marshall Mid Cap Value Inv (MRVEX).

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