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.
Interest rate risk is the risk of falling bond prices due to the rise in interest rates. Find examples and related terms here.
Which are the best no-load mutual fund families? Find out where, why and how to find simple, low-cost and high quality funds, all in one place.
Investment advice and financial planning guru Dave Ramsey gives his radio show listeners and book readers sage advice but he gives some poor advice on mutual funds.
Before you build a portfolio of mutual funds, learn some of the basic tips for investing and planning your strategy.
What is a mutual fund? In one simple explanation, learn the definition, basics, advantages and types of mutual funds.
Investing for dummies can't get any smarter than investing with mutual funds. Learn the definition, then move on to the basics.
Which investment strategy is best - value or growth? Or are index funds the best way to invest? Find out for yourself.
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.
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.
Dividend mutual funds - stock mutual funds that primarily invest in companies that pay dividends - profits that companies share with stock shareholders.
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.
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.
What are the top 10 best mutual funds of all time? Check out this list and learn how to find the best funds for your own portfolio.
An overview of the myriad of choices, whether to seek advice, where to buy, how much it is going to cost you.
The portfolio manager of an actively-managed fund tries to beat the market by picking and choosing investments.
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.
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.
Should you invest in no-load funds or load funds? Which is best for you and what is the difference?
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.
To build the best portfolio of mutual funds you must go beyond the sage advice,
Market timing can be challenging but there are some moves investors can make to invest in stocks and sectors in a rising interest rate environment.
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.
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.
Want to know how to invest in sin stocks? Mutual funds can be a good way to invest in this defensive sub-category of consumer staples.
Understanding how bond mutual funds work can help investors understand other areas of finance and economics such as stock investing and interest rates.
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?
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.
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?
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?
For an example of how to build an aggressive portfolio of mutual funds, take a look at this model allocation with helpful percentage suggestions.
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.
What is the MSCI Index? There are many different variations of this foreign stock index. These indexes are followed by other acronyms, such as EAFE, ACWI, IL, DM and EM. What do they mean and how can investors use them?
What are the different types of mutual fund share classes and what are their basic advantages or disadvantages? Which shares are best?
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.
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.
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.
How do I reduce taxes on mutual funds? Understanding mutual fund taxation will help you improve your overall returns by being a smarter investor.
Learning how mutual funds are categorized helps an investor choose the best funds for asset allocation and diversification purposes.
For an example of how to build an moderate portfolio of mutual funds, take a look at this model allocation with percentages.
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.
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).
The S&P 500 Index is a benchmark for the large cap segment of the US equity market. The index includes 500 US-based companies and covers approximately 75% of the US equity market.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rebalancing your investment portfolio is the best way to 'buy low and sell high.' All you need to do is learn the best strategies.
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.
Want to know how to build the best lazy portfolio? Start with these timeless and tested investing strategies. Set it and forget it!
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.
Statistical analysis of mutual funds requires a fundamental knowledge of quantitative measures. Learn more here and you can choose the best mutual funds.
There are a few key things every investor should know about mutual funds. Be prepared by knowing the risks, options, and expenses laid out here.
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.
Learn more about long-term investments here with examples, strategies, and analysis on how to become a successful long-term investor.
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).
There is more to analyzing a mutual fund than reviewing past performance. In fact, the best predictors of future performance include factors many overlook.
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.
Should you invest in D Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
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?
Should you invest in R Share mutual funds? Before investing, be sure to understand how the different share classes charge fees and expenses.
A lack of understanding of inflation can be detrimental to an investor's portfolio. Learn how to invest & hedge against inflationary economic environments.
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.
Learn more in this discussion about turnover ratio, how to produce higher average returns, and become a better mutual fund investor.
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.
For an example of how to build an conservative portfolio of mutual funds, take a look at this model allocation.
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.
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.
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.
Gauging your risk tolerance is a good way to help you determine how much risk you can tolerate in your portfolio of investments.
What are signs that a bear market is coming? How can an investor prepare their portfolio for a decline in stock prices?
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.
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.
Looking for how to invest in 2014 with mutual funds and ETFs? Take a look at this guide for simple ideas and examples.
Learn more about dividend dates and you can save taxes and improve the performance of your portfolio.
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?
When investing in silver, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF) or Exchange-Traded Notes (ETN), it's important to know the risk and nature of commodity investing.
Need some mutual fund portfolio examples? Here are a few basic and simple portfolios for 3 types of investors - aggressive, moderate or conservative.
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.
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.
Do you have questions about index investing? The answers to what you want to know (and what you never thought to ask) about how to invest with index funds are all here.
When is the best time to use bonds versus bond funds? Find out here by learning about basics, differences, when to buy which, and more.
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You may have heard about index funds. But what is an index? What are examples of best known indexes?
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?
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.
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.
Need a list of the major market indexes? Check this list for a quick and easy reference for investing in the major stock and bond indices.
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.
Can you lose money with bond mutual funds? Find out how bonds can depreciate in value by reading the basics and how to invest in different environments.
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.
Diversification with mutual funds is more than just putting your eggs into different baskets. Find out how to properly diversify with mutual funds.
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.
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
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.
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, here are some of the many benefits you need to know.
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.
To understand the structure of mutual funds, compare other “40 Act Funds” – investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
A correction is a market trend that all active investors should know how to recognize. It is important to understand the distinction between a correction and a bear market.
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.
Is the Dave Ramsey Investment Philosophy right for you? Which mutual funds do Dave recommend?
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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!
R-squared (R2) is a statistical measure that investors can use to determine a particular investment's correlation with a given benchmark.
Learn how and where to use tax-efficient mutual funds, and make sure to understand and apply the basic concepts of tax-efficient investing.
See examples, recent criticisms and variations of investing style associated with Modern Portfolio Theory.
Arriving at how or where to invest in 2014 depends upon your investment objectives, economic and market outlook, and investing tactics.
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?
much? To be properly diversified, to obtain reasonable returns while minimizing risk, pay close attention to the 5 Percent Rule of Investment Allocation.
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.
Unit investment trusts (UITs) may be the least understood, and certainly least utilized, of all of the US registered investment companies.
Sector Funds focus on a specific industry, social objective or sector such as health care, real estate or technology.
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.
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.
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?
As with all investment strategies and financial plans, there are wise steps you can take to find success without taking unreasonable risk.
Fixed income funds are an excellent diversification tool for investors’ portfolios. Start with these five basic types of fixed income 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 defensive sectors and how can an investor use them for best investing strategies?
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.
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.
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.
Morningstar is best known as a mutual funds research company. But what exactly do they do?
: ETF is short for "Exchange-Traded Fund." An ETF holds a basket of securities and trades on a stock
What are the best target date retirement funds and how are they used? Find out how to use these simple, diversified funds for your nest egg.
When an investor buys a mutual fund, their investment dollars are used to purchase new shares of the mutual fund. Learn more information here.
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 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.
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.
What are mutual fund holdings? Do holdings matter with mutual funds? How many holdings is ideal? The total number of holdings can give an investor a clue to future performance.
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 is a lump sum distribution? What is the best way to invest the cash from a 401(k) or IRA rollover? Find out what to do when you are given distribution options from your retirement accounts.
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.
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?
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.
What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average and why should investors care about it? Although this index only represents 30 large industrial companies, the Dow Jones index still has significant relevance.
After taking the mutual funds quiz, check your answers, along with links to key terminology, and refresh your knowledge of the basics. Page 2.
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 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.
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.
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 asset allocation and what is an example in an investment portfolio?
Why buy loaded funds when you can buy no-load funds? There are a few basic reasons why paying a sales charge for buying mutual funds is worth the added expense.
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.
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.
What is fixed income? How do bond mutual funds work? Investing in bonds can be risky if you are not aware of the basics.