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DO IT YOURSELF MUTUAL FUNDS
By Lauren Ohayon

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In the ever-changing world of money, finance, investing, and technology, it's not surprising that new ways of investing are constantly evolving. And, with soaring consumer demand for more investment options, the incentive is high for companies to give the public what they want. DIY investing (Do It Yourself), is the latest, and maybe the most exciting, recent development.

Rather than buying into a mutual fund from a major investment house, DYI-ers create their own mutual funds by selecting the stocks they would like to buy. David Arsenault is one of these new investors. By day, he's a programmer for America Online. But his after-hours personal project is using a service that lets him do something no brick-and-mortar brokerage firm ever offered before.

The online brokerage David uses is Folio FN, a financial services company that allows individuals to choose a group of stocks and invest in them as they see fit. "What I wanted to do, and what my personal strategy is, is to hold a concentrated batch of technology stocks that I know about, and I have the time to follow, so I can be up to speed on what they're doing at all times," David explained.

This new way of investing is about fine-tuning your own goals and needs, to gain tighter control of your finances. The recently enacted "regulation fair-disclosure" law (reg f-d ), which forces companies to release information to all of their shareholders simultaneously, gives DIY-ers an even bigger handle on their holdings.

The reg f-d is not good news for everyone, though. Institutional investors, who have always relied on having information first, fear that they will be forced to surrender their advantage and that this may result in less access to information for all investors. As one analyst told THAT MONEY SHOW, "There is a concern about a reduction in the amount of information that companies will provide. Rather than risk speaking to a select few, companies may not speak at all."

Despite the possible turbulence from the reg f-d, David is not concerned. He is confident that unencumbered information will do nothing but help his investments. "The general public can always benefit from more information," he says. " ... People are going to be skilled at different levels of interpreting [that information], but you have to get that information to act on it first, and companies are not going to do that unless they are forced to. They're not going to put out more disclosures unless they are told to."




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