We've all done it. There's a bank of six elevators, yet we'll risk life, limb, and cups of coffee to board the one whose doors are closing. Heaven forbid we wait a whole 10 seconds for the next one to arrive.
Fund investors do the same thing. They hear that a fund is going to stop accepting money from new investors in a few days, weeks, or months, and they immediately write a check, as if there's no other fund that could possibly meet their needs.
Of course, fund closings have their merits. Funds close so their managers can continue to invest in their given styles; too many assets can force managers to compromise their strategies. Morningstar data also show that fund closings can help save investors from their own worst performance-chasing tendencies. If a fund closes pre-emptively, before the manager is forced to put new assets to work in stocks that are overpriced, it will protect both current and prospective investors.
As shareholder-friendly as closings can be, however, there's no evidence that rushing the doors of a soon-to-close fund is a good idea. Here's why fund closings aren't always the magic elixirs they are cracked up to be.
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