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Upgrading

Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

10 Years of the FundX Upgrader Fund

The past ten years were challenging years for most equity investors.  When we started FUNDX in fall 2001, it was a difficult time to launch a new mutual fund. After a decade of historic economic growth, the economy had begun to soften in the summer of 2001. Fear and uncertainty reigned after September 11th and investors bailed out of equities.

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Bridging the Gap

For many years, clients and subscribers had asked for a middle ground between our high-minimum money management services and our do-it-yourself newsletter. Many clients wanted us to manage smaller accounts for their friends and family, but we didn’t have the capacity to take on smaller accounts.  

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Upgrading

Many investors know the Upgrading strategy from NoLoad FundX newsletter. The Upgrading strategy follows market leadership by seeking to keep assets in the best-performing noload mutual funds and ETFs at all times.

The FundX Upgrader Funds are mutual funds that are managed using this Upgrading strategy. The Funds are intended for investors who prefer to have the Upgrading strategy implemented for them by professionals rather than following the Upgrading strategy on their own.

Our Fund Classification System

To understand the risk level each of the FundX Upgrader Funds, it is important to understand how we classify the wide array of mutual funds available to us.

We Classify Funds By Risk, not by Type of Fund

Our fund classification system is an essential component of Upgrading. Rather than categorizing funds according to investment styles, market capitalization, or other commonly used criteria, we group equity funds into four risk classes, with bond funds grouped into a fifth class.

Q&A: Smaller Accounts

Q: I have been managing my own portfolio of mutual funds and ETFs using the NoLoad FundX newsletter.   My dilemma now is building a portfolio for a small IRA.  Building a portfolio of 10 or more funds means taking very small positions, and doesn’t seem practical.
A:  Managing smaller accounts can be challenging.  Since most mutual funds have minimum investments of $2,500-$5,000, a smaller portfolio may only be able to hold a handful of mutual funds and lack the diversification of a larger portfolio.  Trading fees may be low at a discount broker, but as a percent of each transaction, those fees can add up.  Including a fixed income component to your portfolio means adding even more funds to the mix.

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Can Active Strategies Be Tax Efficient

Mutual fund investors with taxable accounts are often advised to look for low turnover funds and passively-managed strategies because it’s assumed that funds that don’t trade very much will realize fewer capital gains, leading to lower taxes and hence a potentially higher return.  This is sometimes true.  But that approach puts the tax cart in front of the investment horse.  We believe that the best predictor of after-tax return is pre-tax return.  We believe managing a portfolio to achieve strong long-term returns makes more sense than making taxes your chief priority.

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Repositioning Your Portfolio - One Step at a Time

Transitioning your portfolio can be daunting - whether you’re looking to add to your growth potential by taking on more risk, or seeking to buffer yourself by adding to bonds.  The dramatic market shifts we’ve seen these past few years have made investors wary of making changes to their portfolios for fear the market might be on the brink of a major run-up or an abrupt sell-off.
Whether you are looking to increase risk or lower it, we  suggest setting a plan and shifting your portfolio allocations gradually. Here’s how:

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Dynamic Allocations

Our Equity Portfolios
Adapt to Changing MarketsThe FundX Upgrader Funds aren’t confined to just one area of the market.  Instead, the Funds have dynamic allocations that change as market conditions change.  The changing composition of the FundX Upgrader Fund (FUNDX), our flagship equity fund, illustrates how Upgrading strategy has guided the portfolio into various market categories over the years.

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Categorically Speaking: Core and More

Some strategies group funds by investment style – separating value funds from growth funds, for example, or small cap funds from large cap funds. Our approach is different. We categorize stock funds and ETFs by risk, separating funds into two broad groups: core and speculative. This allows us to control exposure to riskier funds, and it presents us with a full range of investment opportunities. Rather than limiting ourselves to international funds or domestic, for example, we group international funds together with domestic funds that have similar risk profiles and then we invest in whatever funds are currently strong performers, as measured by our performance-based scoring system.

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