Ever since the Motley FoolChampion Funds newsletter service first opened for business back in March 2004, we've brought subscribers the inside scoop on the very best funds the money-management biz has to offer -- cherry-picked keepers worth building your portfolio around. What's more, in 2005, we added a new dimension to the service when we rolled out our model portfolios.
The first, a racy little number built for investors with timelines of at least 10 to 15 years, made its debut as our Aggressive model in the April issue last year. The Moderate model, designed for folks who are just about as interested in preserving their wealth as they are in growing it, hit the streets with the May edition.
Last but not least, our June issue unveiled a model meant for conservative "principal preservationists." It's a sensibly allocated portfolio of stock and bond funds designed for folks who are approaching -- or perhaps already in -- their golden years.
If you want a sneak peek -- and you know you do, Fool -- just click here for a free trial. You'll also have access to all the back issues and recommendations I've made since our newsletter first appeared. Quite the deal, no?
That said, when it comes to investing, one size fits ... one. Our models are meant as asset-allocation starting points, not investment prescriptions. With that in mind, I've strongly encouraged readers to tweak the models to their particular timelines and tolerance for risk. And judging from the dynamic dialogue we've had on the boards about that subject, folks are doing precisely that.
To my way of thinking, that represents true success: folks coming together and having an informed (and informative!) conversation about the best way to invest for the long haul. 'Scuse me while I mist up a little, but it makes me proud to be a Fool.
My aim is true
Don't get me wrong: My aim has always been and shall ever be to recommend funds that have what it takes to beat index trackers such as Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX) and iShares S&P 500 Index (IVV) over the next three to five years -- and beyond. And just to keep our eyes on that particular prize, we track the newsletter's performance against the broader market each and every day on our online scorecard.
When you take a gander at that scorecard, you'll also see that I've recommended funds plucked from across the market's various "styles" -- i.e., the point of intersection between cap range and where a fund falls on the growth/value spectrum. Indeed, I've recommended funds that invest in the growth-oriented likes of Oracle
Superior investment decisions
As fun as the scorecard part of the service is, it's certainly not the only reason Champion Funds exists. Our overarching goal is to provide investors of all stripes with the tools and information they need to make their own superior investment decisions for the long haul. No two investors are alike; over the course of a lifetime, each individual investor's objectives will evolve as he or she enters a new stage of life. With that in mind, it's worth remembering that the perfect portfolio is always a work in progress.
And that precept brings us back to our models.
As retirement approaches and near-term goals (such as buying a house or funding a child's college education) draw near, your investment strategy needs to change, too. The stocks-only portfolio that may have served you so well in your 20s and 30s probably isn't going to do the trick when you hit 40 -- and for all but the most aggressive of investing daredevils, it certainly won't work in your 50s.
That's why I think our model portfolios are so vital. They provide sensible allocation templates that folks can tweak over time to make sure their investments are aligned with their stage of life. Combined with our list of individual picks and world-class discussion boards, I think the models make Champion Funds the ideal service for folks who are seriously Foolish about investing in mutual funds.
This commentary was originally published on May 10, 2005. It has been updated.
Shannon Zimmerman doesn't own any of the securities listed. JPMorgan Chase is an Income Investor recommendation. The Fool isinvestors writing for investors.