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Mutual Fund

A mutual fund is a company that pools money from several people and invests it in stocks, bonds, and short-term loans. A mutual fund’s portfolio consists of all of the fund’s investments. Mutual funds are purchased by investors. Each share reflects a fraction of an investor’s ownership and revenue in the fund.

Why do people buy mutual funds?

Mutual funds are a popular investment option because they frequently give the following advantages: –

  1. PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT: – The research is done for you by the fund managers. They select the investments and monitor their performance.
  2. VERSATILITY: Mutual funds often invest in a wide range of companies and industries. This lowers your chances of losing money if one of your businesses fails.
  3. AFFORDABILITY: – The initial investment and future purchases for most mutual funds are fixed at a low dollar sum.
  4. LIQUIDITY: – Investors in mutual funds can simply redeem their shares for the current net asset value (NAV) plus any redemption costs at any time.
Types of Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are divided into four categories: money market funds, bond funds, stock funds, and target-date funds. Each type has its own set of traits, risks, and advantages. 

  1. MONEY MARKET FUNDS: – They have a low-risk factor. By law, they can only invest in certain high-quality, short-term investments issued by US companies as well as federal, state, and municipal governments.
  2. BOND FUNDS: – Because they often attempt to earn bigger returns, they have higher risks than money market funds. Because of the numerous different types of bonds available, the risks and returns of bond funds can vary greatly.
  3. STOCK FUNDS Invest in business stocks. Stock funds aren’t all created equal. Here are a few examples:
  • Growth funds invest in stocks that don’t pay a monthly dividend but have the potential to outperform the market.
  • Dividend-paying equities are the focus of income funds.
  • Index funds follow a certain market index, such as the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index.
  • Sector funds are focused on a specific industry segment.
  1. TARGET DATA FUNDS Invest in a variety of stocks, bonds, and other assets. According to the fund’s strategy, the mix steadily varies over time. People who know when they wish to retire should invest in target-date funds, often known as lifecycle funds.
Benefits 

Mutual funds offer skilled investment management as well as diversification options. They also provide three other opportunities to earn money.: – 

  1. DIVIDENDS: – Dividends on stocks and interest on bonds are both sources of income for mutual funds. The fund subsequently pays nearly all its earnings to its shareholders, minus any expenses.
  2. CAPITAL GAIN DISTRIBUTIONS: – The value of a fund’s securities may rise in value. When a fund sells an investment that has appreciated in value, it earns a capital gain. At the end of the year, the fund distributes these capital gains to investors, minus any capital losses.
  3. INCREASED NAV: – After deducting expenses, the market value of a fund’s portfolio improves, which enhances the value of the fund and its shares. Your investment is more valuable if the NAV is higher.
Risks 

Every fund entails some level of risk. Because the securities held by mutual funds might lose value, you could lose some or all your money if you invest in them. As market conditions change, dividends and interest payments may vary as well.

Because past performance does not guarantee future results, a fund’s past success isn’t as important as you would think. Past performance, on the other hand, can tell you whether a fund has been erratic or stable over time. The more investment risk there is, the more volatile the fund will be. 

Example of Mutual Fund

Fidelity Investments’ Magellan Fund is one of the most well-known mutual funds in the investment world (FMAGX). The fund was founded in 1963 with the purpose of increasing capital through common stock investments. The fund was at its pinnacle between 1977 and 1990 when Peter Lynch was the portfolio manager. During Lynch’s tenure, Magellan’s assets under management increased from $18 million to $14 billion.

Fidelity’s performance remained robust even after Lynch left, with assets under management (AUM) reaching approximately $110 billion in 2000. By 1997, the fund had grown to such proportions that Fidelity decided to close it to new investors and not reopen it until 2008.

Fidelity Magellan, which has been managed by Sammy Simnegar since February 2019, has almost $28 billion in assets as of March 2022.  The fund has closely followed or slightly outperformed the S&P 500.

By Priyasha Sen Gupta