Me too, in fact I bought into this fund just a month before the market downturn in '87. On top of the initial load, I thought I had made the biggest mistake in my life. However, having held on for 20 years, I can say that this fund has done nicely (not spectacular but better than most in its class). Having said that, I consider myself a more knowledgeable investor now and would need serious convincing before getting into a fund with a high front load. Times have changed dramatically over the 20 years and fees have come down for most investments, and with the proliferation of no-load funds and new instruments such as ETFs, I think the firms that charge large upfront fees, unless proven performers, are likely to become less attractive. As a comparison, I also have couple of Franklin-Templeton funds I acquired at the same time, and they underperformed.
It is ok to get into loaded funds if you have a low commission rate. It is hard to do if you are single but if you add together a couple's contributions you get to the lower commission rate quicker. If you are in for the long haul say age 42 to 62 preferably longer term then you can do ok with the loads from American as they drop quite a bit. Compare the performance of the load fund and the no load by going to the website and clicking on that tab. Routinely invest (dollar cost average) and you will do well by retirement. Don't fear. I started with $25 biweekly! American has treated us ok. Remember.. at the end of that month in the quarter the dividend paid is calculated on the share price that day. I hope it is low so it buys me more shares. Leave your shares alone if at all possible! Happy investing, and it is a bumpy ride for sure!
im recently rertarded or rather retired last Feb.07. so i wont bogg anyone down with stock/fund criteria or babble about dastardly deeds. my financial advisor picked several funds and ive had this one for many years. what seems to be coming in the fund world future are a mutant fund offspring to compete in the healthcare field and other venues of investments. only the future can tell. steady goes the pace with funds of good assets and management.
One of the pluses of this fund is that while it may not beat the S&P in good times it doesn't fall as far as the S&P when the market goes down. As financial adviser it's one I recommend for the "long haul".
Back in the early-70's I didn't know better, and listened to a commissioned broker who sold me AIVSX - and at the time, the fund had an 8.5% load.
Nowadays, I avoid loaded funds like the plague - and I only invest in no-loads. BUT, I figured that I would stay in AIVSX because I had already sunk my money in it, and the annual fees were reasonable.
HOWEVER, I dollar cost averaged my AIVSX investments at the rate of $100 per month until I invested a total of $6000 (before commissions) in the fund. Then, I did nothing, except watched and saw what happened. Of course, I had to pay taxes on the dividends and interest.
At the end of 2006, my $6000 investment grew to about $428,000.
I'm a few years from retirement, but that early commitment really worked well for my retirement plans.
So, I guess the moral of the story is that in order to be successful in any reasonably managed fund, start investing when you are young and persevere.
AND, despite the nice growth in AIVSX, invest in no-load general-purpose funds if you want to maximize your growth prospects.
What I do is to track, using a spreadsheet, on a quarterly basis. I do quarterly and annual evaluations.
I'm not unhappy with its returns thusfar.
However, having seen the market head south lately, I think that this year's returns might decrease some.