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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fund Managers Seduced by Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
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Investors who thought they steered clear of Facebook Inc.'s FB +1.39% initial public offering should take a closer look at their mutual fundsAt least 160 U.S.-based mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, including those run by Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. and OppenheimerFunds Inc., bought shares of Facebook in May, according to monthly disclosures made in June and July compiled by investment-research firm Morningstar Inc. for The Wall Street Journal.
Some of the funds that bought shares wouldn't normally be considered natural investors in a high-growth technology company like Facebook. For example, some of the demand for Facebook came from funds designed primarily to invest in dividend-paying companies or low-priced "value" stocks. Facebook is neither. The disclosures show the wide latitude afforded to mutual-fund managers, and serve as a reminder for investors of the herd mentality that governs many asset managers' buying decisions, say fund analysts and financial planners.

"Even if John Q. Public didn't buy [Facebook] directly, he may own one of the hundreds of mutual funds that did," said Geoff Bobroff, a mutual-fund consultant in East Greenwich, R.I.
About 55% of the funds known to own Facebook appear in companies' defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, according to plan tracker BrightScope Inc. ... Continue to read.
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