An Introduction to Mutual Funds
Over the past decade, American investors increasingly have turned to mutual funds to save for retirement and other financial goals. Mutual funds can offer the advantages of diversification and professional management. But, as with other investment choices, investing in mutual funds involves risk. And fees and taxes will diminish a fund’s returns. It pays to understand both the upsides and the downsides of mutual fund investing and how to choose products that match your goals and tolerance for risk.
What They Are
A mutual fund is a company that pools money from many investors and invests the money in stocks, bonds, short-term money-market instruments, other securities or assets, or some combination of these investments. The combined holdings the mutual fund owns are known as its portfolio. Each share represents an investor’s proportionate ownership of the fund’s holdings and the income those holdings generate.
Here are some hi-lights
Professional Management — Professional money managers research, select, and monitor the performance of the securities the fund purchases.
Diversification — Diversification is an investing strategy that can be neatly summed up as “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Spreading your investments across a wide range of companies and industry sectors can help lower your risk if a company or sector fails. Some investors find it easier to achieve diversification through ownership of mutual funds rather than through ownership of individual stocks or bonds. Diversification does not assure against market loss.
Affordability — Some mutual funds accommodate investors who don’t have a lot of money to invest by setting relatively low dollar amounts for initial purchases, subsequent monthly purchases, or both.
Liquidity — Mutual fund investors can readily redeem their shares at the current NAV — plus any fees and charges assessed on redemption — at any time.
Gary Hutto, through GWN Securities, has selling agreements with the following fund families and more:
|AIM / Invesco||800.959.4246|
|American Skandia Funds||888.386.3484|
|CDC Nvest Funds||800.225.5478|
|Dreyfus Premier Funds||800.242.8671|
|Fidelity Advisor Funds||800.544.9999|
|First Eagle Sogen Funds||800.747.2008|
|Hartford Mutual Funds||800.777.7938|
|John Hancock Funds||800.257.3336|
|North Track Funds||800.826.4600|
|One Group of Funds||800.343.1113|
|Phoenix – Zweig Funds||800.243.1574|
|Principal Mutual Funds||800.451.5447|
|SM&R Equity Funds||800.526.8346|
|Van Kampen Investments||800.826.5267|
|WM Group of Funds||800.787.1621|
The prospectus does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitaion of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sales of these securities until the firm and representative are registered according to the securities laws of any such state.