July sees American stock funds up by 4.1 percent

According to the Lipper unit of Thomson Reuters, the stock market advances during the first week of July helped the standard diversified American stock mutual fund to clock a 4.1 percent yearly return for July. The figure was 5.7 percent in the same period the previous year. In the same manner, the international stock funds rose 4.3 percent. They were trailing the US ones. Both made into the black, with the international ones at 1.5 percent.

Although none of such numbers can be termed as spectacularly successful, a few sectors boasted percentage gains in the double digits in 2016. A number of these sectors are inclusive of dividend paying stocks- an attraction of a time of low bond yields.

According to Todd Rosenbluth of S&P Global Market Intelligence, for mutual funds invested in small cap value stocks, 2016 has been a good year. These also hold true for stocks that provode the exposure to the dividend yielding components of the market like real estate and utilities. The value funds of small caps are up by 10 percent. The utilities and real estate are up by 19 percent and 15 percent respectively. The desire for a steady income by investors has also boosted a few diversified funds which hold such dividend paying stocks.

However, the peak performer so far in 2016 continues to be the gold oriented funds. They showed a 122 percent gain. Low interest rates mean a rise of gold as an investment. The metal pays no interest. Performance of the bond funds were also positive during July. Those funds that focus on investment grade and intermediate maturity debt saw a 0.8 percent rise in July. When the year was taken into account, the rise was computed as 5.9 percent.

It seems that excess money has been invested on a few dividend funds. This prompted Vanguard to shut its Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund to any new investor. This $30.6 billion fund is being managed by Wellington Management and has seen the doubling of its size during the recent three years. This is a normal practice as fund companies take steps like this to keep their funds from being unmanegeable. Investors searching for Vanguard like funds can invest in JPMorgan Equity Income and the T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth funds.  There are also index funds like Schwab US Dividend Equity and Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETFs.

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