Northern US Government (NOUGX)
Expense Ratio: 0.41%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $12,984.20
The Northern US Government fund (NOUGX) is a Intermediate Government fund started on 3/31/1994 and has $60.40 million in assets under management. The current manager has been running Northern US Government since 12/23/2006. The fund is rated by Morningstar. This fund does not charge 12b-1 fees.
iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury (IEF)
Expense Ratio: 0.15%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $4,881.99
The iShares Barclays 7-10 Year Treasury (IEF) is an Exchange Traded Fund. It is a "basket" of securities that index the Intermediate Government investment strategy and is an alternative to a Intermediate Government mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like Northern US Government because computers automatically manage the stocks.
|Mutual Fund Name||Ticker Symbol||Turnover||Assets (M)||Annual Fees|
|American Century Ginnie Mae Instl||AGMNX||130.0%||1,900||0.36%|
|American Century Government Bond Instl||ABTIX||127.0%||1,600||0.28%|
|American Funds US Government Sec F-2||GVTFX||212.0%||7,200||0.38%|
|American Funds US Government Sec R5||RGVFX||212.0%||7,200||0.34%|
|American Funds US Government Sec R6||RGVGX||212.0%||7,200||0.29%|
|Columbia US Treasury Index Z||IUTIX||106.0%||388||0.20%|
|DFA Intermediate Govt Fixed-Income I||DFIGX||16.0%||2,800||0.12%|
|Federated Mortgage Instl||FGFIX||222.0%||299||0.39%|
|Federated Total Return Govt Bd Instl||FTRGX||103.0%||1,300||0.31%|
|Fidelity Spartan Interm Tr Bd Idx Inv||FIBIX||76.0%||1,200||0.20%|
|Fidelity Spartan Interm Trs Bd Idx Advtg||FIBAX||76.0%||1,200||0.10%|
|Goldman Sachs US Mortgages Inst||GSUIX||1.0%||344||0.37%|
|Northern Institutional US Trs Idx A||BTIAX||64.5%||138||0.26%|
|PIA MBS Bond||PMTGX||122.0%||174||0.02%|
|Vanguard GNMA Adm||VFIJX||189.0%||39,200||0.11%|
|Vanguard GNMA Inv||VFIIX||189.0%||39,200||0.21%|
|Vanguard Interm-Term Treasury Adm||VFIUX||273.0%||6,500||0.10%|
|Vanguard Interm-Term Treasury Inv||VFITX||273.0%||6,500||0.20%|
|Vanguard Interm-Tm Govt Bd Idx Instl||VIIGX||41.0%||286||0.09%|
|Vanguard Intermediate-Term Government Bond Index Fund Signal Shares||VSIGX||41.0%||286||0.13%|
Turnover represents how much of a mutual fund's holdings are changed over the course of a year through buying and selling. Active mutual funds have an average turnover rate of about 85%, meaning that funds are turning over nearly all of their holdings every year. A high turnover means you could make lower returns because: 1) buying and selling stocks costs money through commissions and spreads and 2) the fund will distribute yearly capital gains which increases your taxes. Look for funds with turnover rates below 50%. For comparison, ETF turnover rates average around 10% or lower.
Generally, smaller funds do better than larger ones. The more assets in a mutual fund, the lower the chance that it will beat its index. Managers outperform an index by choosing stocks that are undervalued. In order to find these undervalued stocks, the manager has to know more than his competitors to develop an "edge." There are only a finite number of stocks a mutual fund manager can reasonably analyze and actively track to gain such a competitive edge. When the fund has more assets, the manager must analyze large companies because he needs to take larger positions. Large companies are more efficiently priced in the market and it becomes increasingly difficult to get an edge.