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Monday 21st of August 2017

Profit From These Mutual Fund Basics PDF Print Email
Finance - Mutual Funds
Written by: Jane Calhoun   
Saturday, 23 May 2009 13:15
Even during the economic downturn, mutual funds continue to be popular as investments, since they make it relatively easier to get into the market. But do you know the mutual fund basics before you invest in these vehicles? Even though mutual funds have been pitched to investors as no-brainer places to stash your cash, the results of the past year demonstrate that getting good returns is never easy.


Even during the economic downturn, mutual funds continue to be popular as investments, since they make it relatively easier to get into the market. But do you know the mutual fund basics before you invest in these vehicles? Even though mutual funds have been pitched to investors as no-brainer places to stash your cash, the results of the past year demonstrate that getting good returns is never easy.

Mutual funds are everywhere, too - there are more than 10,000 different funds, and they've together amassed more than $4 trillion in investments! If you want to profit through mutual fund investing, you need to kow the basics and whether they are truly "safe".

Given that mutual funds have provided good returns in the past, no wonder they've become so popular. Until late 2008 and into 2009, investors expected these funds to supply diversification in one's portfolio, and to be fairly safe and post solid profits. It's true that they offer an easy way to diversify, and risk levels as a result may have been somewhat less than for individual stocks.

As a mutual fund is set up, the fund raises investment cash from investors, then uses that money to invest in stocks, bonds, and other securities that are a proper fit for the objective of the fund. Within the fund there is nearly always than a single individual investment. When the value of those investments goes up, or goes down for that matter, its investors also see a gain or a loss. When a fund pays out a dividend to shareholders, the investors get their fair share too. In addition, you can find that funds are well managed by professional advisors.

Mutual funds are designed as special types of corporations, which are allowed by charter to combine funds receied form investors, and invest that pool os cash for the whole group, based on the defined objectives of the fund. To raise investment capital there is an offering of shares of the fund to be sold to the general public, just as any public company wolud seek to sell stock on the market. Then the funds take the proceeds from selling shares and use it to purchase a variety of investments, such as stocks, bonds, derivatives, or money market instruments.

When the shareholder invest by buying shares, they receive an equity share positions in the mutual fund. At this point the shareholders each own a piece of the underlying securities owned by the fund. For the most part, mutual fund shareholders are permitted to sell their fund shares on the market at any time, but the price they get will be determined by the daily changes in the share price as it is reflected in the performance of the underlying investments.

It's also true that many investors get their investment ideas based on just a few criteria: the total performance of the fund in the recent past, or through tips from a friend or acquaintance, or by reading magazines or online publications. Even though there is a chance these efforts could result in choosing a good mutual fund, it's still very risky to buy on this basis alone. It's better to have some idea of fund's characteristics, and whether it's a good addition for that particular investor.

There are several criteria by which to judge a mutual fund. Such things as the fund's performance over time, who is managing the fund, the fund's overall investment objectives are, and so on. As you decide on a mutual fund, you should take into consideration your personal financial plan a well, and determine if the fund is a fit with your objectives. Begin with defining your specific financial goals first, addressing your future financial priorities, the resources you can invest, and what level of risk you are willing to adopt. Add the time line over which you want your strategy to mature.

You might hear a lot of talk about the superstar funds with the huge returns, but today we are more aware that those number can easily man nothing if the market dives. More likely is that we've all learned to look at other criteria besides the fund performance. Instead, look at the performance of the underlying investments, see if you're comfortable with that basket of stocks or bonds. Begin comparing mutual funds that are within a similar category to your prospective choice, and see if it works to help you reach your goals.

You should analyze the track record of a fund beyond just the recent several months, to see the fund's management syle and performance over time. By keeping these mutual fund basics in mind when you look for investments, you'll begin to create a sound investment foundation.

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