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mutual fund as part of my research, I also pay close attention to the fund manager. Often times there are new, or newer, funds that don’t have any type of track record to go by. These same funds may have the same fund manager as another, successful fund. While this doesn’t guarantee that the new mutual fund will enjoy the same suc- cess that the other fund did, it will help calm those fears of investing in an unproven mutual fund. Chances are, the new fund will be sub- ject to the same rigorous standards and practices that the other fund is.

You also want to take a look at what the manager is doing with his or her funds. If the market is overpriced, as it was during the last few years of the 1990s, then you want to see that the mutual fund man- ager is taking steps to make sure that a market correction is not going to hurt the fund. However, knowing if that’s the case is not as easy as it sounds, since mutual funds are protected by the Securities and Exchange Commission and aren’t required to disclose what their positions are in their underlying equities at all times. The most recent information will either be in the fund’s annual report and prospectus or on the fund family’s Web site.

Whatever the market conditions are, though, you want to feel confident that your mutual fund manager will be able to react appro- priately to help protect the mutual fund and its shareholders. Some- times, funds will have a limit on what the managers can do. These limits will be listed in the fund’s prospectus. The more limits, the less action the manager can take and vice versa. Ideally, you want to see that there are few limits placed upon the fund manager. If there are few limits, the fund manager needs to have a lot of experience to deal with whatever the market throws at investors.

The buy-and-hold strategy should be used the most during bear markets simply because it’s not a smart idea to be trading a lot when the market is down. Try not to be too worried about what happens during a down market. It’s just a time when investors aren’t buying a lot of equities. However, for many people it is the perfect time to jump in, which is why the market will go back up.

You should hold onto your securities because no one can predict the market, and thus, you won’t know when the market will begin to rebound. You don’t want to miss out on any potential growth just because you couldn’t wait for the markets to go back up. My advice

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