But are mutual funds or ETS funds not always best suited for smaller individual investors?

Sometimes yes. Its a more lazy way to invest.  But in SE Asia, restricitive factors have created a distorted local stock market and progressively so for over a decade. The hard-working mutual fund investor/clients, mistakenly believe they are getting an ownership in hard-working and industrious Asia.  Instead, due to severe fund investment restrictions on liquidity, fund clients/investors are buying indirectly only the very largest capitalized firms too often ignored faster smaller capitlized companies. Hence to many it pays to be more investor pro-active and through Thaistocks.com, you can find and learn about many value stocks in leading industries which pay dividends all along.  But you got to go beyond the brokers, the funds and most biz news!