How To Make Sure Portfolio Managers 'Eat Their Own Cooking'

How To Make Sure Portfolio Managers ‘Eat Their Own Cooking’

(Image: Thinkstock)
Put your money where your mouth is (Image: Thinkstock)

Whenever I step into an unfamiliar restaurant, it always gives me a sense of comfort to see staffers, on their break, eating the same food that’s being prepared for patrons like me. Likewise, when I invest in a new mutual fund, I like to know that the people guiding that particular fund’s investments, the portfolio managers, have at least some of their personal money invested alongside me in that very fund. You should too.

Here’s how to find out: Go to, type in any mutual fund’s ticker symbol, then click the menu marker that reads “filings”. Once you’re there, you’ll see a list of items, one of which will be “SAI”, or “statement of additional information”. That document includes details that fund managers must submit to government regulators and investors. It lists information such as the managers’ salaries and other portfolios they handle. The information isn’t always easy to locate, but somewhere in the document–often listed under the heading “disclosure of securities ownership” you’ll see the names of the portfolio managers along with a dollar-amount range showing how much of their own money is invested in that particular fund.

What if that figure is low or non-existent? Well, what would you think about a chef who doesn’t eat his own cooking?