Mutual Funds: Most Popular Articles
Finding the best S&P 500 Index funds can be easy if you know what to look for. Here are a few of the top S&P 500 Index funds and why we recommend them.
Which are the best no-load mutual fund families? Today's do-it-yourself investor has the tools available to build a diverse investment portfolio at one company or online discount broker. Find out where, why and how to find simplicity, low-cost and high quality all in one place.
Each year, generally in the last couple of months of the year, mutual fund shareholders face the possibility of receiving capital gains distributions from their mutual funds. Don’t be fooled by the capital gains distributions. These are not gains of the good sort.
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!
What do I do with my 1099? Do I have to file it with my taxes? Does the IRS need a copy? Why did I receive a 1099? There are more than a dozen different types of 1099 forms but the most common 1099 forms are generated from investing activities, such as dividends, capital gains and IRA and 401(k) distributions and rollovers.
What is a mutual fund? In one simple explanation, learn the definition, basics, advantages and types of mutual funds.
Which investment strategy is best - value or growth? Are index funds better than both value and growth? Take a look at this historical data and review the performance charts for yourself and make an informed decision on the value vs growth vs index debate.
As a popular investment option, you have probably already heard plenty about mutual funds. Chances are you own mutual funds in your retirement plan or brokerage account. In fact, according to the Investment Company Institute, more than 92 million individuals in the U.S. (about 45% of U.S. households) owned mutual funds in 2008. But do you know what mutual funds are and why so many people own them?
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.
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? Let’s take a look at several so-called disadvantages of mutual funds,and how you can avoid them.
Index funds are mutual funds that are intended to track the returns of a market index. Index funds are considered to be passively managed because the portfolio manager of each index fund is replicating the index, rather than trading securities based on his or her view of the potential risk/reward characteristics of various securities. In recent years, more obscure indexes have been created.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Building a portfolio
While there are a plethora of options, a mutual fund can offer a simple, efficient way to invest for retirement, education or other financial goals.
The evidence shows that there are good active managers, but finding such managers in advance of their outperformance is difficult. According to Vanguard, for the 10 years leading up to 2007, the majority of actively-managed U.S. stock funds underperformed the index they were seeking to outperform.
Whether you want to invest a 401(k) or IRA rollover, a tax refund, an inheritance, or you win the lottery, there are a few smart ways to best manage a large amount of cash, no matter what the stock market or economy is doing at the time.
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.
Gold can be used as a hedge against inflation and a falling US dollar, but what's the best way to invest in this precious metal and commodity?
Dave Ramsey means well but his mutual fund investment philosophy is potentially dangerous for investors. Find out what Dave gets wrong and how to be sure you are not making his mistakes. Page 2.
Mutual fund research can be made easier with a good online research tool. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, these sites are among the best.
Choosing the best mutual funds can be easy. Learn how to find and choose the best ones for you with these simple and proven methods.
You may have heard about index funds. But what is an index? What are examples of best known indexes?
Why do index funds outperform actively-managed funds? Over long periods of time, index funds have higher returns than their actively-managed counterparts for several simple reasons.
For an example of how to build an aggressive portfolio of mutual funds, take a look at this model allocation.
Before you build a portfolio of mutual funds, learn some of the basic tips for investing and planning your strategy.
Arriving at how or where to invest in 2014 depends upon your investment objectives, economic and market outlook, and investing tactics.
There are hundreds of fund families to choose from but there are only a few that offer investors a wide variety of high quality no-load funds. Find out which fund families are the best for no-load funds.
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.
There are various classes of shares of each mutual fund available for purchase (a mutual fund may offer various classes of shares to investors -- the differences are in the fees and expenses of each share class). Several common share classes are: Class A, Class B and Class C. Each share class requires a management and operating fee and many share classes charge a 12b-1 fee.
What are dividends and how are mutual fund investors taxed on dividends? Understanding the basics of dividends and mutual fund taxation is essential to investing success.
Finding where to invest your fixed income savings in 2013 can be challenging. Learn the best investment and savings ideas for bonds, mutual funds, money markets and CD's.
While cheaper doesn't necessarily mean better, you will find some of the cheapest S&P 500 funds that you can buy with $10,000 or less listed below.
How many times have we been told that there is no free lunch? The same holds true with no-load mutual funds. No-load mutual funds are free of sales charges (loads), but they do have costs. All share classes of funds -- load or no load -- carry fees that are paid out of the fund’s assets to the fund’s investment advisors (as opposed to paying the advisor/broker who sells the fund).
Diversification with mutual funds is more than just putting your eggs into different baskets. Find out how to properly diversify with mutual funds.
Past performance of a mutual fund may not be a guarantee of future results but if you know how to analyze performance--if you know what to look for and what to avoid--you can make better investment decisions.
Should you invest in no-load funds or load funds? Which is best and what is the difference?
There is more to analyzing a mutual fund than reviewing past performance. In fact, the best predictors of future performance include factors many overlook.
Which are the best bond mutual funds in a rising interest rate environment? Which bond funds do better against inflation? Knowing the basics on which funds perform best and which funds perform worst before and during higher interest rates and inflation is a crucial skill for the bond mutual fund investor.
You have decided to add mutual funds to your well-balanced portfolio. Your next step is to sift through the myriad of choices -- where do you buy mutual funds and how much is it going to cost you?
Looking for how to invest in 2014 with mutual funds and ETFs? Take a look at this guide for simple ideas and examples.
How do I reduce taxes on mutual funds? Understanding mutual fund taxation will help you improve your overall returns by being a smarter investor.
Dividend mutual funds - stock mutual funds that primarily invest in companies that pay dividends - profits that companies share with stock shareholders.
Understanding how bond mutual funds work can help investors understand other areas of finance and economics such as stock investing and interest rates.
For an example of how to build an moderate portfolio of mutual funds, take a look at this model allocation with percentages.
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.
Whether you use an advisor or you do it yourself, you might enjoy a few sites to help you research mutual funds. Follow the 6 links for helpful advice.
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. Perhaps the best way to understand a closed-end fund is to compare it with an open-end mutual fund.
There are a few key things every investor should know about mutual funds. Learn the 5 things to know about mutual funds.
Statistical analysis of mutual funds requires a fundamental knowledge of quantitative measures. Learn more here and you can choose the best mutual funds.
Should you invest in R Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
While most people are painfully aware of short-term capital gains, short-term capital gains distributions are often a misunderstood -- and always a dreaded -- aspect of mutual fund investing. Financial advisors, sophisticated investors and novices alike, forget the rules of the unpleasant feature of mutual funds we know as short-term capital gains distributions.
Fixed income funds are an excellent diversification tool for investors’ portfolios. Start with these five basic types of fixed income funds.
To get started investing with mutual funds, you will need to know the basics. Learn how by understanding mutual fund types, taxation and how to buy.
The growth and income objective for mutual funds is a combination of one part growth and one part income. Learn more with this simple overview.
A money market fund offers similar protection as the mattress, but offers the benefit of paying a yield on your money.
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 fixed income for 2014 can be challenging in a rising interest rate environment. Here a few good ideas for bond 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 are total stock market index funds? Find out how to use total stock market index funds, which ones are the best and if you should use them.
The fundamental question is this: Do you want to hire yourself as the advisor or someone else? Follow these helpful tips to measure your personal needs.
With so many different types of investing strategies, styles, theories and tactics, an investor can find themselves under the spell of analysis paralysis. Which investment strategy is best for you?
Mutual funds must comply with a strict set of rules that are monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Find basic information and links here.
Which are the best index funds and what do you analyze to choose them? Why are index funds better than actively-managed funds? Are passive mutual funds better than ETFs?
Inflation erodes at the value of money and can be an investor's worst enemy. Learn how to beat inflation by investing in mutual funds.
Rebalancing your investment portfolio is the best way to 'buy low and sell high.' All you need to do is learn the best strategies.
Why invest in index funds? Learn about index funds and find out the primary reasons why index funds often outperform most actively-managed funds in the long run.
What are the different types of mutual fund share classes and what are their basic advantages or disadvantages? Which shares are best?
R-squared (R2) is a statistical measure that investors can use to determine a particular investment's correlation with a given benchmark.
Which is best, a total stock market index or the S&P 500 Index? It depends upon the complimentary mutual funds or ETFs within the investor's portfolio.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Before you buy
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 low-cost, no-load funds.
The percentage of fees paid to the mutual fund company to manage and operate the fund, including all administrative expenses and 12b-1 fees. The expense ratio excludes sales charges.
For an example of how to build an conservative portfolio of mutual funds, take a look at this model allocation.
What is a mutual fund's total net assets under management and why is helpful to analyze this for best investment practices? How much is too much?
You may hear that mutual fund B shares are a good buy. But more and more mutual fund companies are saying “goodbye” to mutual fund B shares.
Small-Cap stocks can make up a significant portion of your investment portfolio at any time. But when is the best time to invest in small-cap stocks?
Before you research how and where to invest in 2014, be sure to find an asset allocation strategy that works best for your investment objectives.
Learn more in this discussion about turnover ratio, how to produce higher average returns, and become a better mutual fund investor.
Whether you plan to buy a stock fund or individual stocks, you should become familiar with the pros and cons of a stock fund prior to investing.
TIPS are bonds that pay a coupon on the adjusted principal of the bond. They're adjusted on a semi-annual basis with the rate of the Consumer Price Index.
A fee that is charged by some mutual funds, which is used to pay marketing, distribution, and service costs, and is paid to the broker. The Financial Industry Regulation Authority (FINRA) allows funds to charge as much as 1.00% annually as a 12b-1 fee.
What are the best sectors for 2014? Find out what areas of the market can perform well and help build a diversified portfolio in 2014.
How does the Ex-Dividend date for stocks work? When are the best and worst times to buy stocks in relation to dividend dates?
Find the definition of cost basis (also known as tax basis) here, as well as some examples to assist in understanding and application.
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.
Can you lose money with bond mutual funds? Find out how bonds can depreciate in value.
Standard deviation of historical mutual fund performance is used by investors in an attempt to predict a range of returns for various mutual funds.
Is the 4 percent rule still valid? This general rule of thumb for retirement income can be a good place to start your planning but the strategy can be misleading, especially if you do not know how to use it correctly.
Gauging your risk tolerance is a good way to help you determine how much risk you can tolerate in your portfolio of investments.
Index funds are considered to be passively managed funds. The manager of an index fund tries to mimic the returns of the index it follows by purchasing all -- or almost all -- of the holdings in the index. Hundreds of market indexes can be invested in via mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
The Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is the benchmark for most bond funds traded in the US. How can an investor benefit using a total bond market fund?
Morningstar is best known as a mutual funds research company. But what exactly do they do?
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.
Market timing can be challenging but there are some logical moves traders and investors can make to invest in the best stocks and sectors in a rising interest rate environment.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Who is Vanguard?
Want to know how to build the best lazy portfolio? Start with these timeless and tested investing strategies. Set it and forget it!
much? To be properly diversified, to obtain reasonable returns while minimizing risk, pay close attention to the 5 Percent Rule of Investment Allocation.
To understand the structure of mutual funds, compare other “40 Act Funds” – investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Bullion coins are most commonly used as a store of cash or alternative to currency for savers and investors during times of economic uncertainty.
The best and worst sectors in 2013 can be revealed by making some basic assumptions about market and economic assumptions. Find ETFs and index funds to maximize returns and minimize risk.
The failure to understand and apply the basic concepts of tax-efficient investing is among the biggest mistakes made by investors. Learn how and where to use tax-efficient mutual funds.
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?
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.
Understanding the difference between market and economic cycles and how they are related to investment performance can help determine the best timing strategies and portfolio structure.
If you think about it for a moment, all investing is a form of market timing, even if you consider yourself a buy-and-hold investor. As with all investment strategies and financial plans, there are wise steps you can take to find success without taking unreasonable risk.
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.
Have you ever heard of the foreign tax credit? If you own international mutual funds in a taxable account, it’s time to make yourself aware of the foreign tax credit.
NAV is an acronym for Net Asset Value. The NAV of a fund is the total value of the securities in the fund minus liabilities, divided by shares outstanding.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Core
Asset allocation describes how investment assets are dividend into the 3 basic investment types - stocks, bonds and cash - within an investment portfolio.
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.
A hedge fund is an investment type that uses a wide range of strategies designed to protect investors from downturns in the market while still participating in positive market environments.
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.
If you learn how to interpret the overall value of stocks by using the P/E ratio on the S&P 500 Index, you can gain insights into the future direction of equity prices.
Are there certain areas of the market that are more or less efficient than others? How can you use index funds to take advantage of EMH?
A mutual fund load is a fee charged when an investor makes a transaction in fund shares. There are also funds that do not charge loads, which are known as “no-load” funds.
There are recent criticisms and variations of style to consider before applying MPT to your own investment portfolio. Read about some examples here.
If you have decided that you prefer to spend your time on other things than sifting through thousands of mutual funds, then it’s time to look for a mutual fund advisor. There are many things to consider before choosing a mutual fund advisor. In this segment, we’ll take a look at the fancy letters and titles that you will run across when searching for an advisor.
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.
: ETF is short for "Exchange-Traded Fund." An ETF holds a basket of securities and trades on a stock
Class A shares generally have front-end sales charges (also known as a “load”). The load is paid to the advisor for buying the mutual fund on behalf of investors.
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To help shareholders prepare for capital gain distributions, mutual fund companies generally post capital gain distribution estimates beginning in October. These capital gain distribution estimates can help mutual fund investors (who own funds held in taxable accounts) plan ahead for tax day.
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?
A mutual fund investor can use beta in planning their fund selection to determine volatility of the fund and to compare its sensitivity in movement to the overall market.
There a few mutual funds that invest in the Dogs of the Dow. However, this is not just for market timers. These 'dogs' are also among the best stocks for dividends.
What is tax loss harvesting? Understanding the tax consequences (capital gains and capital losses) of selling stocks and stock mutual funds is an important aspect of successful investing practices.
What are consumer staples and how do they work in a defensive stock investing strategy?
Be sure to understand the definition, nature and risks of high yield investing, which can make a good addition to your mutual fund investment portfolio.
What should you analyze when doing your mutual fund research and which things should you not analyze? Here's all you need to know (and a few things you can ignore).
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.
Inflation is said to be one of an investor's worst enemies. However, it can also be said that a lack of understanding of inflation can be detrimental to an investor's investment portfolio. Learn how to invest and hedge against inflationary economic environments with mutual 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 (holding bonds and cash) and away from riskier mutual funds investments (holding equities).
Many investments incur transaction fees when buying shares. For this reason, investors should be aware of these trading costs, especially when making frequent purchases.
What are inst funds? Are they the same as class I mutual funds? Can individual investors invest in institutional funds?
The summary prospectus rules require that funds provide investors with a brief summary (generally three to four pages) – in plain English – of the key information that will allow investors to make informed investment decisions.
Chances are, if you are a mutual fund investor, you have come across Vanguard mutual funds. Vanguard, founded in 1975 by legendary investment industry spokesperson John Bogle, is known as a low cost, index mutual fund provider.
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.
Which is best, index funds or ETFs? What are the differences? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Find out who should invest and learn how to choose the best passive investments and strategies.
What are the best mutual funds for retirement planning and savings? Are some fund types better than others? What about taxation? Learn the best investment strategies, such as how to invest with fixed-income, dividend-paying mutual funds, and ETFs, while maintaining principal before and during your golden years.
Pick up any financial magazine, peruse the money section of a newspaper, or search for mutual funds online and you will not have a problem finding a mutual fund to buy right now. There’s no shortage of “top mutual funds” lists. On the other hand, it can be no easy task to find an article, blog post or mutual fund sales person to provide information that will help you decide whether or not to sell your mutual fund. So, why should you sell your mutual fund?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >When you hear
There are many examples of lazy portfolio styles and structures but they do not need to be complex for the best results.
What are the 6 steps of financial planning? Find out the best way to plan for your financial goals and the steps advisers take in their planning process.
Before you buy an index fund, it is important to understand the definition of an index fund, the passive versus active management debate, and the difference between ETFs and mutual 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.
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.
Need some mutual fund portfolio examples? Here are a few basic and simple portfolios for 3 types of investors - aggressive, moderate or conservative.
Should you invest in C Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
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.
Proponents of the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) are often index fund investors. However, not all index fund investors subscribe to the EMH. There is a wise middle ground. If you like the idea of investing in index funds but still want to tweak performance or find a wise but competitive edge as an investor, there is an investment strategy for you.