Mutual Funds Investments are investments that pool money from several investors into one big pool of money that can be invested in securities of all sizes and in any available sector or area of the market. A mutual fund is basically an open-ended professionally managed investment trust that pools money from a number of investors to buy securities in the stock, bond, commodity or mutual fund industry. Mutual funds typically are “the greatest proportion of total equity of U.S. companies.” Most investors in mutual funds are institutional or retail in nature.
A common feature of all mutual funds investments are units or shares. A share in a mutual fund represents a portion of a company’s stock or equity and therefore it is not really that different from a standard share in a stock market index. A unit is a specific amount of ownership in the company and most commonly is represented by an interest share or ownership in the underlying property. A common unit in a mutual fund’s investment is usually a thousand shares or units.
While there is no standard unit in most mutual funds investments, one that is widely used is the stock-share. When units are used instead of shares in a portfolio, a certain level of risk is associated with every unit and the portfolio advice is to invest in units only where there is a minimal risk of loss. For example, when the underlying property is the investment property of some organization or government sector, like the housing sector in the United States, most of the time the units involve residential properties. When investing in such type of securities, it is necessary to carefully choose the segment or sector to invest in so as to stay away from the risk of inflation or the policy of the government might change and you will lose part of your portfolio. Even though investing in total securities (an Indian financial product similar to ETF) offers a very attractive option for most investors, you should be careful and choose the best option available to suit your investment goals.
There are mutual funds products with different characteristics. Some types of investment in securities include interest-bearing funds, bond funds, money market funds, treasury bills and certificate of deposits. When you are planning to invest in these types of products, it is important to understand the type of security that best suits your investment objectives. This is because some types of securities are meant to provide stable income while others can help you achieve a higher return on your investment.
As an example, bond schemes invest in government bonds and mortgage backed securities in order to generate a steady income. When you choose securities that provide a guaranteed income, you can also choose a fixed rate scheme so that you get the same irrespective of the direction the market moves in. Money market funds allow investors to obtain interest only or full interest payment and there are also Navigator funds, which allow investors to obtain interest only, half interest payment and a combination of payments.
Another option available for investors is to choose exchange traded funds. Exchange traded funds are similar to mutual funds except for the fact that they trade on major exchanges. Although this may seem like a risky investment option, it has several benefits. For example, when you purchase these products, you are able to make direct purchases of underlying securities in the same market, instead of having to select an exchange based upon the product that you choose to invest in. The same is true when you sell these units; however, you will receive less than what you would have if you had purchased the unit in the US stock exchange.
Many people choose to index mutual funds over specialized investment vehicles because they provide excellent gains without requiring extensive monitoring. If you have a long term investment plan, then this is the ideal choice because these types of funds remain unchanged as long as the general market does. Moreover, the fees associated with such types of investment schemes are typically lower, which allows you to receive good returns even when the market is falling. On the other hand, specialized investment vehicles, such as money market funds and treasury bills, require more monitoring from the fund manager. If the market is falling, the manager may choose to liquidate some holdings to minimize loses and create additional opportunities for investors to profit from the falling markets.
One of the most attractive benefits of these types of investment vehicles is their low cost of ownership relative to other forms of investment. These products do not incur annual fees or a distribution fee like most stocks and bonds. This makes them very attractive to investors who do not wish to hold onto shares of stock for the long term. These types of funds also offer the benefit of easy access to liquidity. Because these units are traded on major exchanges, investors can be assured of their own interest regardless of the market situation.