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What is Mutual Fund?

August 7, 2009

A mutual fund is simply a financial intermediary that allows a group of investors to pool their money together with a predetermined investment objective. The mutual fund will have a fund manager who is responsible for investing the pooled money into specific securities (usually stocks or bonds). When you invest in a mutual fund, you are buying shares of the mutual fund and become a shareholder of the fund.

Mutual funds are one of the best investments ever created because they are very cost efficient and very easy to invest in . By pooling money together in a mutual fund, investors can purchase stocks or bonds with much lower trading costs than if they tried to do it on their own. But the biggest advantage to mutual funds is diversification.

Diversification is the idea of spreading out your money across many different types of investments. When one investment is down another might be up. Choosing to diversify your investment holdings reduces your risk tremendously.

The most basic level of diversification is to buy multiple stocks rather than just one stock. Mutual funds are set up to buy many stocks even hundreds or thousands. Beyond that, you can diversify even more by purchasing different kinds of stocks, then adding bonds, then international, and so on. It could take you weeks to buy all these investments, but if you purchased a few mutual funds you could be done in a few hours because mutual funds automatically diversify in a predetermined category of investments.

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