What is a Mutual Fund?

Ever wondered what is a mutual fund? A mutual fund is a pool of money run by a professional or group of professionals called the "investment adviser."

A mutual fund is a company that pools money from many investors and invests the money in stocks, bonds, short-term money-market instruments, other securities or assets, or some combination of these investments. The combined holdings the mutual fund owns are known as its portfolio. Each share represents an investor's proportionate ownership of the fund's holdings and the income those holdings generate.

Because it is sometimes hard for investors to become experts on various businesses for example, what are the best steel, automobile, or telephone companies, investors often depend on professionals who are trained to investigate companies and recommend companies that are likely to succeed.

In a managed mutual fund, after investigating the prospects of many companies, the fund's investment adviser will pick the stocks or bonds of companies and put them into a fund. Investors can buy shares of the fund, and their shares rise or fall in value as the values of the stocks and bonds in the fund rise and fall.

Investors may typically pay a fee when they buy or sell their shares in the fund, and those fees in part pay the salaries and expenses of the professionals who manage the fund.

Even small fees can and do add up and eat into a significant chunk of the returns a mutual fund is likely to produce, so you need to look carefully at how much a fund costs and think about how much it will cost you over the amount of time you plan to own its shares. If two funds are similar in every way except that one charges a higher fee than the other, you'll make more money by choosing the fund with the lower annual costs.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. So don't be dazzled by last year's high returns. But past performance can help you assess a fund's volatility over time.

Making any sort of investment involved a certain amount of risk so it is always wise to seek the advice of a professional before making any decisions.

You may freely reprint this article provided the author's biography remains intact:

John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help UK homeowners find the best available loans via the http://www.directonlineloans.co.uk website.

In The News:

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What India's three largest mutual funds bought and sold in June  Economic TimesHeres what the top three asset managers bought and sold last month.
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What India's top three mutual funds bought and sold in March  Economic TimesIndias largest money manager held 1.5 trillion rupees in equities.
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A young investor’s guide to mutual funds  Economic TimesMany young investors, who are barely a year or two old in their career, are eager to start investing in mutual funds. ETMutualFunds.com receive many queries on ...
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Here are a few mutual funds that stocked up on YES Bank in Q4FY19  Business StandardShares of YES Bank tanked 30 per cent in trade on Tuesday, after the bank reported a massive Rs 1,507 crore loss in the fourth quarter of financial year 2018-19 ...
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MF portfolio doctor: Babji needs to exit direct investments in stocks, take mutual funds route  Economic TimesThe Portfolio Doctor assesses the health of the fund portfolio, examines the schemes and their suitability with regard to the goals.
Flows into mutual funds revive in May as Modi win seems to spur risk demand  LivemintFlows into Indian equity mutual funds in May rebounded from the smallest in 31 months as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comfortable electoral win spurred ...
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Why do wealth managers recommend multi cap mutual funds?  Economic TimesMany wealth managers believe multi-cap funds are a good starting point for long-term investors, specially those using SIPs for wealth creation.
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MF holdings of auto stocks at record low: Motilal Oswal study  BusinessLineMutual funds' holdings of auto sector stocks stood at a record low in April, finds a study by broking house Motilal Oswal Securities. The weightage of the auto ...
Investment limits Sebi prescribes for mutual funds  LivemintIn case of unrated debt instruments, a mutual fund cannot invest more than 10% of the portfolio in a single issuer and 25% in all such securities.In case of listed ...
How income from stocks and mutual funds are taxed for an individual  Moneycontrol.comCapital gains from transfer of unlisted share are considered as STCG where period of holding is less than or equal to 24 months, and LTCG when holding period ...
Pros and cons of 5 popular investments in Malaysia  Free Malaysia TodayHere is a condensed list of the pros and cons of five of the most popular investments in Malaysia. Also detailed are tried-and-tested strategies that work well with ...
Active mutual funds fail to reflect index gains  Economic TimesThe Nifty, which has hit all-time highs for the second time in April, has advanced 12% in the last one year. But these gains are yet to reflect in many mutual funds' ...
What to do if your mutual fund scheme earns more return than your investment  Economic TimesAre the returns shown in your mutual fund account statement same as the returns delivered by your fund? It is quite likely that you might have earned less than ...
Mutual funds sell several blue chips stocks, buy mid-caps in March  Business StandardDomestic money managers were seen pruning their holdings in several blue-chip stocks, including Reliance Industries (RIL) and Housing Development Finance ...
Top 8 most common mutual fund investing mistakes and how to avoid them  Business StandardMutual funds garnered Rs 8,022 crore of its assets by way of SIPs in December 2018, 29 per cent higher than the previous year | Illustration: Binay Sinha ...
7 stocks most favoured by mutual funds over last one year  Economic TimesAs the markets hit a speed bump, stocks favoured by mutual funds appear to be safer bets.
Top 30 stocks that fund managers bought & sold in March; do you own any?  Moneycontrol.comData for equity flows into a mutual funds for March came as a breather after a weak February. Increase in net inflows in equity and income category led to the ...
First-time investors can look at these mutual funds for long term  Economic TimesInvestors, who were waiting on the sidelines for the uncertainty to recede, are now looking to deploy their cash. But, valuations remain steep.
Best mutual funds to invest for five years  Economic TimesIf you have any mutual fund queries, message on ET Mutual Funds on Facebook. We will get it answered by our panel of experts.
What India's top three mutual funds bought and sold in February  LivemintStock funds took in a net ₹5130 crore, a 17% drop over January, data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India show .Here's what the top three asset ...
The dangers of high mutual fund inflows  LivemintMutual funds have put ₹2.4 trillion into markets in the last two years.Equity mutual funds receive ₹8000 crore monthly through SIPs.
What top 5 money managers bought and sold in February  Economic TimesFebruary was the fourth consecutive month of decline in net investment into equity mutual funds.
Mutual fund investing for the conservative: Should you stick to largecap funds only?  Moneycontrol.comFinancial planners advocate investing in equity mutual funds to beat inflation and build a corpus that will cater to one's future needs, even if one is a conservative ...
I want to invest Rs 1 crore in stocks and mutual funds for 5 years. How should I invest?  Economic TimesYou may consider the following asset allocation: 40% in large-caps; 40% in large and mid-cap, or multi-caps; and remaining 20% in mid- and small-cap funds.
Defaults, downgrades hit debt mutual funds: What investors should know and do now  Economic TimesAs debt mutual funds land in trouble following multiple defaults and downgrades by bond issuers, ET Wealth addresses some key questions from worried ...
A look at mistakes committed by investors of equity mutual fund schemes  Moneycontrol.comBalwant Jain. The interest of investors has been shifting from direct equity investing to equity mutual funds over a few years. Though this is a welcome trend, ...
Best mutual funds to invest in 2019  Economic TimesWhich are the best mutual funds to invest? Most investors have this query before they start investing in mutual funds. Curiously, it is the first question most ...
Here's equity mutual funds' top sectoral picks in past decade  BusinessLineThis race chart portrays the top 10 sectors preferred by the equity mutual funds. Banks, finance, software, consumer non-durables, petroleum products, pharma, ...
Sebi allows mutual funds in exchange traded commodity derivatives  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on Tuesday allowed mutual funds to participate in exchange-traded commodity derivatives ...
Here’s a better tool to judge mutual fund performance than simple 1-year, 3-year returns  Economic TimesOne invests in mutual funds to earn potentially higher returns than those in traditional investment products, and I'm sure everyone looks at the one-year, ...
Stop! Too many stocks, mutual funds are not good for you; Buying too many may not get you more  The Financial ExpressHandling the overall risk of investments is crucial, but not at the cost of not meeting your financial goals. Over-diversification can do this.
Allocating to passive mutual funds in one's portfolio is increasingly making sense  Economic TimesPassive investments makes sense today as increasingly active ones are unable to beat it most times.
ITR filing: Income tax department makes disclosing LTCG from stocks, equity mutual funds simpler  LivemintThe Finance Bill 2018 reintroduced tax on LTCG made from listed shares and equity-oriented mutual fund.You only need to disclose the total LTCG from ...
Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal may foray into mutual fund business  Economic TimesSachin Bansal, former co-Founder of Flipkart, is mulling a foray into the mutual fund space, according to a report by ETNow. The business news channel said ...
Should you invest in mid- and small-cap funds now?  LivemintWith the new government taking office with a massive majority, it has the elbow room to push through the reforms. No wonder markets are expecting the ...

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