Types of Funds
Value vs Growth vs Index Investing
Which is best - value or growth? Are index funds better than value and growth? Take a look at this historical data and review the performance charts for yourself and make an informed decision.
Mutual Fund Categories
Mutual funds are organized into categories by asset type (stocks, bonds and cash) and then further categorized by style, objective or strategy. Learning how mutual funds are categorized helps an investor choose the best funds for asset allocation and diversification purposes.
List of Sector Funds
If you are looking for a good list of sectors and the best mutual funds and ETFs for each, here is a great guide for learning the basics and for investment strategy.
Bond Fund Types and Categories
What are the types of bond funds? How are bond mutual funds categorized? Bond mutual fund investing can appear complex but understanding the basics of bond categorization will help determine which bond fund type is best for you.
What is Fixed Income?
Fixed income can refer to an investment strategy or style that is intended to produce relatively fixed or stable income or it can also refer to investment types within an investment portfolio.
Multi-Sector Bond Funds
The multisector bond fund category of fixed income investment can be a wise choice for a diversified portfolio of mutual funds. Find out more about this bond fund type.
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.
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).
What Are Junk Bonds?
Junk bonds, also known as high yield bonds, can make a good addition to your mutual fund investment portfolio. Before investing in junk bond funds, be sure to understand the definition, nature and risks of high yield investing.
Pros and Cons of a Stock Fund
What are the pros and cons of a stock fund and should you invest in a stock fund? Whether you plan to buy a stock fund or you plan to buy individual stocks, you should become familiar with the pros and cons of a stock fund prior to investing.
Retirement Income Funds
Retirement income mutual funds can be a simple investment choice for those investors already in or entering retirement. See some of the best retirement income funds and find out if they are a good fit for your needs.
What Are Value Stock Funds?
Mutual funds are an ideal means of gaining broad exposure to value stocks. What are value stocks? Which mutual funds are best for exposure to value stocks? What is the best timing for investing?
Short-Term Bond Funds
What are short-term bonds? How can I invest in short-term bonds with mutual funds?
What Is a Sector Fund?
A sector fund is a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund that concentrates its investments in a single sector of the market. If you invest in individual stocks and you’re uncomfortable investing in stocks within a particular sector, then you may benefit from sector funds. You can diversify your portfolio by adding the neglected sector via a sector fund.
What is the Healthcare Sector?
The health sector can be a good addition to a mutual fund portfolio. But what are health stocks and what are some of the best areas or sub-sectors of health care? How can politics and laws impact the price of health sector stocks?
Natural Resources Funds
What are natural resources funds and what are the best strategies for investing?
Consumer Cyclicals Sector
What are consumer cyclical stocks and what are the best mutual funds and ETFs to use in an investing strategy?
Consumer Staples Sector
What are consumer staples and how do they work in a defensive stock investing strategy?
Utilities Sector Funds
What are utilities and which are the best sector funds for investing? Learn the definition and see examples of utilities mutual funds and ETFs.
Technology Sector Funds
What is the technology sector and which are the best tech stock funds and ETFs?
Energy Sector Funds
What is the energy sector and what are the best mutual funds and ETFs for investing?
Transportation Sector Funds
What is the transportation sector and what are the best mutual funds and ETFs for investing?
Financials Sector Funds
What is the financial sector and what are the best mutual funds and ETFs for investing?
Precious Metals Category of Funds
The precious metals category of mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) often consist of gold-mining company stocks but they can also invest in companies that mine for silver, platinum and base-metal as well. Some funds are commodity-based and can invest directly in physical assets or derivative instruments.
Commodities Mutual Funds
What are commodities and how can you invest in them? See examples and get tips on investing in commodities with mutual funds and ETFs.
What Are Money Market Funds?
What are money market funds and how can you find the best interest rates and yields?
Alternative Investments Definition
The definition of alternative investments can be as elusive as the definition of normal. Take a look at some examples of alternative investment types for greater understanding of what they are and how to use them with mutual funds and ETFs.
Bear Market Funds
Bear market funds are designed to make money when the broad market benchmarks, such as the S&P 500 Index, are losing money -- a risky but simple and potentially rewarding market timing strategy. Buyer beware!
Alternative Mutual Fund Types
For the investor who wants a simple way to gain exposure to alternative investments or to find easy hedging strategies, alternative mutual funds can be an wise choice if used appropriately.
What Are Hybrid Funds?
Hybrid funds can be a valuable addition to an investment portfolio if used properly and the investor understands the definition and basics.
What Are Emerging Markets?
What is the definition of emerging markets? Which countries are considered to be emerging markets? Investors are wise to understand the advantages and disadvantages of investing in stock funds or bond funds of emerging markets.
What Are World Stock Mutual Funds?
What are world stock mutual funds? The definition of this fund type is probably not what you think.
What Are Growth Stock Funds?
What are growth stocks? Which mutual funds are best for exposure to growth stocks? What is the best timing for investing? Mutual funds are an ideal means of investing in growth stocks for the average investor. Advanced investors can also use them as tools in their portfolios.
Emerging Markets vs Foreign Stock
What is the difference between Emerging Markets and Foreign stock categories of investment? There are significant differences in style, exposure, risk and regional exposure. Be sure to know what is the best fit for your portfolio before buying!
SRI Funds - Definition
Socially responsible investing (SRI) seeks to encourage responsible behaviors, including those supporting positive environmental practices, human rights and religious views. Some of the best SRI funds rival the performance of any other mutual fund type.
How to Invest in the Best Gold Funds & ETFs
Gold can be used as a hedge against inflation and a falling US dollar. But what is the best way to invest in this precious metal and commodity -- with mutual funds or ETFs?
How to Invest in Closed-End Mutual Funds
Due to the rise of ETFs, closed-end funds have fallen out of favor with investors. However, if you know how to invest in closed-end funds, you may find advantages to other fund types.
What is Aggressive Growth?
What is Aggressive Growth are what are some mutual fund examples? Aggressive Growth is a mutual fund objective that is so broad, an investor can easily make a mistake when building an investment portfolio. Therefore, the Dave Ramsey mutual fund portfolio example can be misleading advice.
How to Invest in Copper
If you want to learn how to invest in copper with mutual funds, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) or Exchange-Traded Notes (ETN), it is important to understand the risk and nature of commodity investing.
How to Invest in Platinum
If you want to learn how to invest in platinum with mutual funds, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) or Exchange-Traded Notes (ETN), it is important to understand the risk and nature of commodity investing.
Which Mutual Fund Share Class is Best?
Which mutual fund share class is best for you? Which is worst? When choosing which fund class is most suitable, investors should take several factors into account, including holding time, expenses, trading costs, the need for advice and more.
What is International Stock?
International Stock is a broad heading of investment categories that includes foreign stock, world stock, and emerging markets stock. Learn more about investing in international stock mutual funds.
What is the S&P Midcap 400 Index?
What is the Standard & Poor's Midcap 400? You've probably heard of the S&P 500 Index but you may not be familiar its mid-cap cousin, the S&P Midcap 400. Learn more about this often overlooked segment of the market and improve your portfolio's diversity and possibly its returns.
What is Growth & Income?
What does Dave Ramsey mean when he says "growth and income?" Learn more about the growth and income objective for mutual fund investing.
What Is Market Capitalization?
What is market capitalization and how does it relate to mutual funds? Market capitalization (also referred to as market cap) is the price of a share of stock multiplied by the number of shares outstanding. Many equity mutual funds are categorized based on the average market capitalization of the stocks that the mutual funds own.
The Answer to ‘What Are Absolute Return Mutual Funds?’ Depends on…
What is an absolute return mutual fund? As it turns out, the answer to that question isn’t crystal clear. Each company that manages an absolute return mutual fund has a different definition based on the make-up of their fund. But the goal of every absolute return mutual fund is the same -- make money regardless of market conditions with lower volatility than traditional mutual funds.
What Are Dividend Mutual Funds?
Dividend mutual funds are stock mutual funds that primarily invest in companies that pay dividends, which are profits that companies share with stock shareholders. Learn how to use dividend mutual funds to your advantage.
130/30 Funds Anyone?
130/30 funds are revolutionary -- or so say the marketers who explain the funds as a way to take advantage of the fund managers stock picking expertise. What are these 130/30 funds and should you buy one?
An Introduction to Frontier Markets
You may have read that frontier markets are the next hot investment idea. You may have read that frontier markets offer more upside than their emerging market and developed market cousins. But what are these frontier markets, what are the risks of frontier markets, and how can you invest in these frontier markets?
Pros and Cons of TIPS Mutual Funds
TIPS mutual funds offer many advantages to investors. TIPS are bonds issued by the US Treasury that pay a coupon on the adjusted principal of the bond. The bond is adjusted on a semi-annual basis with the rate of the Consumer Price Index (a measure of inflation).
What Are Mutual Fund Class C Shares?
Should you invest in C Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
Variety of Mutual Funds
There are many types and styles of mutual funds. There are stock funds, bond funds, money market funds and balanced funds. Mutual funds allow you to invest in the market whether you believe in active portfolio management (actively managed funds) or you prefer to buy a segment of the market with no interference from a manager (passive funds and index funds).
Why Buy a Municipal Bond Fund?
So you have heard a lot of talk about municipal bond funds and do the research to find a fund for you. But your research suggests that the yields of these municipal bond funds are less than many of their bond fund counterparts. So, why would you want to buy a municipal bond fund if you can buy another bond fund that has a higher yield?
What Are Stable Value Funds?
Stable Value Funds are offered in many 401(k) plans and other employer-sponsored defined contribution plans throughout the United States. Learn how to use and benefit from Stable Value Funds in your investment portfolio.
The Pros and Cons of Target-Date Funds
Target-date funds are often thought of as “set it and forget it” funds. For example if you plan to retire in 20 years, you might buy a target-date fund that matches your time-frame -– a target of 20 years. As you approach your retirement date, the fund moves its allocation to more conservative mutual fund investments and away from riskier mutual funds investments.
What Is a Closed-End Fund?
Closed-end funds are often confused with, and mistakenly called, mutual funds. A major difference is that closed-end funds behave more like a stock -- the market value is driven by supply and demand for the shares. On the other hand, an open-end mutual fund continually issues new shares to investors and does not trade on an exchange.
5 Types of Bond Mutual Funds
Bond mutual funds are an excellent diversification tool for investors’ portfolios. Bond mutual funds come in many shapes and styles. Let’s start with five basic types of bond mutual funds.
What Is a Frontier Markets Fund?
A frontier markets fund is a mutual fund, closed-end fund or ETF that owns securities of frontier market countries.
A Primer on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities
Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities are very different from conventional bonds. A conventional fixed rate coupon bond makes coupon payments on the par amount example: 5% annual interest payment on $1,000) and the par amount is returned at maturity of the bond. Not so with TIPS.
What Is a Target Date Fund?
Target date or lifestyle funds can provide an easy way to diversify but can also create problems with your overall portfolio.
The Three General Types of Funds
Mutual funds can generally be placed into one of three primary categories: stock, bond or money market. Many investors will diversify their portfolio by including a mix of the three.
Mutual Fund Shares Class Types
What are the different types of mutual fund share classes and what are their basic advantages or disadvantages? Which shares are best?
The Benefits & Risks of TIPS
Investors should be aware of the benefits and risks of TIPS. Vanguard's John Hollyer was kind enough to answer several questions for About.com regarding the benefits and risks of TIPS.
A Profile of Vanguard's John Hollyer
John W. Hollyer is a principal at Vanguard. He joined the company in 1989. Since 2003, he has led the Risk Management and Strategic Analysis Group.
Foreign Stock - Category of Mutual Funds
A mutual fund in the category of Foreign Stock will invest primarily in stocks of companies outside of the United States. Be careful to understand that Foreign Stock has a different meaning than World Stock or Emerging Market Stock.
What Are Adv Funds?
What are Adv mutual funds? Are they available and appropriate for any investor? Which share class is best?
Is There Any Life in Life Cycle Funds?
Life cycle funds are so aptly named because the idea is to invest in the funds through each cycle of your life. If you are investing in life cycle funds for retirement, buy a life cycle fund and hold it through the market’s ups and downs, letting the fund do all the work, throughout your retirement -- or so the theory goes.
What Are Load-Waived Funds?
What are load-waived funds? What does LW at the end of a mutual fund mean? This mutual fund share class type is not the same as no-load funds. Learn the definition and understand the difference.
What Are Class Inst Funds?
What are inst funds? Are they the same as class I mutual funds? Can individual investors invest in institutional funds?
What Are Mutual Fund Class R Shares?
Should you invest in R Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
What Are Mutual Fund Class D Shares?
Should you invest in D Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
How to Invest in Silver
If you want to learn how to invest in silver with mutual funds, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) or Exchange-Traded Notes (ETN), it is important to understand the risk and nature of commodity investing.
CEFs: A Closer Look at Closed-End Funds
Despite the similarities of closed-end funds (CEFs) and mutual funds, they are two distinct types of investment companies. If you have read “What Is a Closed-End Fund?” and learned about the basics of the fund structure, then take a closer look at CEFs below.
UITs: The Neglected Cousin of Mutual Funds
Unit investment trusts (UITs) may be the least understood, and certainly least utilized, of all of the US registered investment companies. What's the problem with UITs? Before answering the question, we need to understand the structure of UITs.
Get Your Fix on Fixed Income Funds
Fixed income funds are an excellent diversification tool for investors’ portfolios. These fixed income funds come in many shapes and styles. Let’s start with five basic types of fixed income funds.