Mutual funds are those professionally managed investment pools that, in a way, show the performance of several varied securities like stocks, bonds, and shares. They are usually organized by an advisory firm for the purpose of offering the fund’s shareholders a specific investment goal.
With this, investors can buy shares of a mutual fund, for instance, the stock of a company. Anyone buying shares in the fund becomes a part owner and wants to take part often because of those investment goals. To manage the company, the shareholders choose a board of directors to oversee the operations of the business and the portfolio.
Most of the time, the value of these mutual funds are calculated once a day and that is based on what the fund’s current net asset value is. A real estate mutual funds is one that invests in the real estate securities from around the world.
The real estate mutual funds usually tend to concentrate the investing strategy on the real estate investments trusts and real estate companies. These real estate investments trusts are mostly companies that purchase and manage real estate with help from the funds that were collected from the investors.
A mutual fund NAV is a special type of company that pools together money from many investors and invests it on behalf of the group in accordance with a stated set of objectives.
Mutual funds raise the money by selling shares of the fund to the public, much like any other company can sell its stock to the public. Funds then take the money they receive from the sale of their shares (along with any money made from previous investments) and use it to purchase various investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and money market instruments.
Most investors pick mutual funds based on recent fund performance, the suggestion of a friend, and/or the praise bestowed on them by a financial magazine or fund rating agency. While using these methods can lead one to selecting a quality fund, they can also lead you in the wrong direction and wondering what happened to that “great pick.”
The past history is a good indicator, though not a guarantee, that a fund will do well. If you are investing long-term, the history will be of more importance than in a short-term situation as they say lightening rarely strikes the same place twice. When picking mutual funds, you have to rely on the fund manager so researching him/her is also a good idea. The fund is only as good as the one who is in charge of it.
You are probably aware that there are really a variety of investment opportunities available to you. The lower the risk of an investment means the profit won’t be all that spectacular, but sometimes a little gain is enough.
If you want to build a quality portfolio you have to focus on these three things:
1. The expected return on your investment.
2. The volatility of the market in that area.
3. How the performance of the mutual fund is directly linked to other aspects of the market.
These funds attempt to balance higher returns against the risk of losing money. Hence, most of these funds split the money among a variety of investments and plot funds in a mix of equities and fixed income securities.
Therefore, they have greater risk than those of fixed income funds, but lesser risk than those of pure equity funds. Depending upon the goal, an aggressive mix of funds would constitute more equities and fewer bonds, while conservative mix of funds would have fewer equities than bonds.
Although long-term bond funds have done very well in the recent past, in large part due to declining interest rates, this will not always be the case. Long-term bonds can prove very volatile, with minor changes in the interest rate having an amplified effect on the fund.
Balanced Funds Own both stocks and bonds based on a popular belief that conditions unfavorable to common stocks are many times favorable to bonds and the opposite. They keep a balance between the two funds.
Money Market Funds
One of the reasons why many investors choose money market securities is that the investment can be made for a relatively short period of time. Furthermore, the level of risk is seen as being lower than on capital markets. Therefore, there is a lower risk of loss for someone who invests money into a money market fund as opposed to stocks or mutual funds.
T Bills are highly liquid and as such will have bid/ask spreads that are extremely low. Furthermore, those purchasing them will find that they are exempt from municipal and state taxes.
There are some investors who would like to get into money market funds, but find that purchasing them through financial institutions appears to be quite confusing, with all the different regulations and requirements surrounding them. But there is good news for people interested in buying T Bills.
Ordinary investors can actually buy them directly from the U.S. Treasury and there is a lot of information available about this on the Treasury’s website. So for anyone who wants an investment that is easily accessible, this could be an option that is definitely worth considering.
Money funds are also highly flexible, allowing the investor to buy, hold, or sell shares when he or she wishes. There aren’t any market restrictions when it comes to the timing of what you do with what you own. You’ll also be able to use these funds for checks, which can pay the day you write them. Mutual funds, can take three days before payment, making money market funds a better option.
As it is with an individual security, management is an important consideration, and the process of identifying a well-managed mutual fund is much the same. First, look at the fund’s performance over the last five or ten years and compare it to other funds with similar goals. Become familiar with the people on the investment committee.
Then consider what management is doing day-to-day: What are the fund’s largest areas of investment? What holdings are increased or reduced? What percent of the fund is in cash, considering the current state of the market? And what is management saying in its reports? The challenge to the mutual fund investor is selecting an investment company capable of superior performance taking into consideration the fund’s investment goals.
For investors who have a limited amount of time to spend on their portfolios and who want greater diversification, mutual funds are worth considering. But, as with individual stock, your due-diligence is critical, investigate before you surrender your hard-earned money to invest.