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Mutual Fund Basics

What is a mutual fund? How do mutual funds compare to closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds and other investments? An understanding of the structure of a mutual fund will help you decide if mutual funds are for you.

What is a Mutual Fund?
What is a mutual fund? In one simple explanation, learn the definition, basics, advantages and types of mutual funds.

Benefits of Mutual Funds
The numerous benefits of mutual funds make them the first and best choice of investment for the do-it-yourself crowd. If you are a beginner and want to know why mutual funds are a good fit for your investment needs or if you are an advanced investor and need a reminder of why mutual funds are best-suited for your financial goals and lifestyle,...

Before You Buy a Mutual Fund
Before you buy a mutual fund, be sure to know the basics and best practices of investing. These are the "do's and don'ts" of selecting and purchasing mutual funds.

Mutual Funds Quiz
Test your knowledge of mutual funds with a quiz on the basics.

What Are Mutual Fund Loads?
Understanding mutual fund loads is a key to success with mutual fund investing. You will be a better mutual fund investor by learning the basics of mutual fund loads and expenses.

Best Mutual Funds for Beginners
Choosing the best mutual funds for beginners is not a matter of finding the best performers of the day. Instead, beginners are wise to know their investment objectives and future plans and prepare for a long-term strategy. Therefore, assuming you want to do it yourself, it is wise to know which mutual fund companies have the best variety of...

How to Build the Best Lazy Portfolio
Want to know how to build the best lazy portfolio? Start with these timeless and tested investing strategies. Set it and forget it!

Lazy Portfolio Examples
There are many examples of lazy portfolio styles and structures but they do not need to be complex for the best results.

Invest Objective Definition and Examples
When you hear the term, investment objective, what does it mean and how can you go about forming an investment objective for yourself? What are some examples?

Long-Term Investing and Performance
What exactly do people mean when they say "long-term" with regard to investing and investment performance? What are some examples? How many years is long-term?

Short-Term Investing and Performance
What exactly do people mean when they say "short-term" with regard to investing and investment performance? What are some examples? How long is short-term?

Average Expense Ratios for Mutual Funds
There are plenty of good mutual funds with below-average expense ratios to choose from in the universe. Therefore don't settle for expensive when you can have inexpensive AND high quality! Check out this breakdown and comparison of average expense ratios for basic fund types

Mutual Funds 101
Mutual Funds 101 is the basics at its best and easiest; this is investing for dummies; and this is so easy a caveman can do it!

The 5 Percent Rule of Investment Allocation
How much of one investment security is too much? To be properly diversified, to obtain reasonable returns while minimizing risk, pay close attention to the 5 Percent Rule of Investment Allocation.

16 Best Tips on Mutual Fund Basics
It's never too early or too late to review the basics of investing with mutual funds. Check out this easy list to get started or to get back on track toward investing success.

How to Invest With Just One Mutual Fund
Investing with one mutual fund is possible if done properly. Find out how to put all of your eggs in one basket and still sleep at night.

How to Get Started Investing With Mutual Funds
To get started investing with mutual funds, you will need to know the basics. Learn how to get started investing with mutual funds by understanding the mutual fund types, taxation and how to buy a mutual fund.

What is Your Investment Style?
Choosing investment styles is like matching personality types in relationships. To maximize returns and minimize risk, you need to find the best investment styles and strategies.

Why Dave Ramsey is Wrong On Mutual Funds
Dave Ramsey gets a few things right on mutual funds but several things wrong. Mutual fund investors can get some good tips from his talk radio show but they are wise to understand the difference between entertainment and sound investment practices.

How to Analyze a Mutual Fund
There is more to analyzing a mutual fund than reviewing past performance. In fact, the best predictors of future performance include factors many investors overlook.

Rule of 72
What is the definition of the "rule of 72?" How is it calculated? Can it be used to help choose investments?

How to Build a Portfolio of Mutual Funds
To build the best portfolio of mutual funds you must go beyond the sage advice, "Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:" A structure that can stand the test of time requires a smart design, a strong foundation and a simple combination of mutual funds that work well for your needs.

5 Easy Tips for Buying Mutual Funds
If you need to know how to buy mutual funds that are best for you, the process does not need to be complex. Buying mutual funds can be simple and profitable if you follow a few basic steps.

What is Fundamental Analysis
What is fundamental analysis? Find out the definition and basics of stock trading.

What is Tactical Asset Allocation?
Tactical asset allocation with mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) can be an effective middle ground of investing between the extremes of market timing and passive investing.

What is Technical Analysis?
What is technical analysis? Find out the definition and basics of stock trading.

What Is a Mutual Fund?
A mutual fund is an investment that allows a group of investors to pool their money and hire a portfolio manager. The manager invests this money (the fund’s assets) in stocks, bonds or other investment securities (or a combination of stocks, bonds and securities). The fund manager then continues to buy and sell stocks and securities according to the style dictated by the fund’s prospectus.

Types of Bonds
There many different types of bonds. Learn the basics on the main types of bonds: Treasuries, Municipal Bonds, Corporate Bonds and Junk Bonds (High-Yield).

How Bond Funds Can Lose Money
Can you lose money with bond mutual funds? Find out how bonds can depreciate in value.

Mutual Fund Basics
What is a mutual fund? How do mutual funds work? A clear understanding of the basics, such as fund types, taxation, and fees will help you decide if mutual funds are best for you.

What Are Dividends?
What are dividends? Find out the definition and basics of investing in stocks and mutual funds.

Top 10 Things to Know About Mutual Fund Taxation
How do I reduce taxes on mutual funds? Which types of funds are best for taxable accounts? Why did I receive a 1099? Understanding mutual fund taxation will help you improve your overall returns by being a smarter investor.

What is the Difference Between Bonds and Bond Funds?
What is the difference between bonds and bond mutual funds? When is the best time to use bonds and when is the best time to use bond funds? Find out here.

6 Mutual Fund Myths
There are truths about mutual funds and there are myths about mutual funds. Learn more about both the truths and the myths of mutual funds.

3 Pros of Mutual Funds
There are both pros of mutual funds and cons of mutual funds. Let’s take a look at a few of the pros of mutual funds and what they may offer the novice and experienced investor alike.

Making Sense of the Structure of Mutual Funds
Technically, mutual funds are “open-end” funds -- one of four types of investment companies. Closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds and unit investment trusts are the three other types. In order to understand the structure of mutual funds, it is helpful to compare other “40 Act Funds” – industry jargon for investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.

Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Mutual Fund
There are many reasons to buy a mutual fund. While there are a plethora of investment options (individual stocks, ETFs and close-end funds, to name a few) a mutual fund can offer a simple, efficient way to invest for retirement, education or other financial goals.

Tell Us About Your Mutual Fund or Investment Blog
Mutual fund blogs and other investment blogs can be excellent resources to learn about investing. Here are blogs about mutual funds and other investment topics submitted by the bloggers themselves. Add your mutual fund or investment blog to the list or take a look at these blogs.

5 Disadvantages of Mutual Funds
Before you invest, you should do your homework. Will you choose to use mutual funds, closed-end funds, ETFs, and/or individual stocks and bonds? Inevitably, your homework assignment will lead you to articles outlining the disadvantages of mutual funds. But are all of these so-called disadvantages of mutual funds really disadvantages of mutual funds?

3 Advantages of Professional Money Management
Many investors don’t have the resources or the time to buy individual securities such as stocks and bonds. In order to profit from investing in individual securities, an investor not only needs resources and time, but a considerable amount of expertise.

Regulations of Mutual Funds
Regulation of mutual funds, compared to other pooled investment options is extensive. Mutual funds must comply with a strict set of rules that are monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Why Read the Mutual Fund Prospectus?
A mutual fund prospectus is to a mutual fund what an owner’s manual is to a car. If you want to learn more about what’s under the hood of your mutual fund, check out the prospectus. The mutual fund prospectus is a valuable tool that contains important information.

The Benefits of Including TIPS in Your Portfolio
There are two main benefits of TIPS bonds. The most unique features of TIPS are that they’re essentially a Treasury (Treasuries dominate the U.S. dollar market for TIPS), and secondly they’re indexed to inflation, so two of the key risks for bond investors -- credit/default risk and inflation risk -- are addressed by these securities.

Mutual Funds 101
The brain-child of Wall Street, mutual funds are perhaps the easiest and least stressful way to invest in the market. In fact, more new money has been introduced into funds during the past few years than at any time in history. Before you jump into the pool and select a mutual fund in which to invest, you should know exactly what they are and how they work.

Define a Mutual Fund
The basic idea of how mutual funds work is straightforward. Investors pool their money and hire a portfolio manager to invest in a variety of investment securities.

How Do Mutual Funds Make Money?
How do mutual funds make money? How do mutual funds work? Are they the best investment type for you? Here are the answers...

How to Read a Prospectus
The Securities and Exchange Commission shows you the most important parts to look at in a fund prospectus. Look at the table that shows fund performance for the past one, five and 10 years before and after taxes.

Why Mutual Funds?
An article by the Mutual Funds Education Alliance on why investors might want to consider mutual funds.

How Mutual Funds Work
The basic idea of how mutual funds work is straightforward. Investors pool their money and hire a portfolio manager to invest in a variety of investment securities. When an investor buys a mutual fund, their investment dollars are used to purchase new shares of the mutual fund.

How Bond Funds Work
Whether you are a beginner or a professional, understanding how bonds and bond mutual funds work can help investors understand other areas of finance and economics, such as stock investing and interest rates, and how they are all interrelated. Learn the basics on bonds and how bond funds work to become a better investor.

How Mutual Funds Work
The basic idea of how mutual funds work is straightforward. Right? Not necessarily. There is so much information on mutual funds that it may leave one's head spinning. But what is the most confusing issue related to mutual funds? Is it which funds to buy? Is it how to buy a mutual funds? How about the issue of using an advisor to help you build a mutual fund portfolio?

Diversification
Diversification with mutual funds is more than just putting your eggs into different baskets. Find out how to properly diversify with mutual funds.

Invest Wisely: Mutual Funds
This article on the US Securities and Exchange Commission's site explains the basics of mutual fund investing -- how mutual funds work, what factors to consider before investing, and how to avoid common pitfalls.

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