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Mutual Fund Rules [Secure eReader]
eBook by Michael Sheimo

eBook Category: Personal Finance/Business
eBook Description: In just one generation's time, mutual funds have become an inescapable factor in America's financial picture. From fewer than 10 million mutual fund accounts in 1977, fund companies now report more than 135 million accounts--with more than 75 times the net assets! In that same time, the number of available funds has also skyrocketed, from just over 425 mutual fund companies to nearly 6,000, with risk/reward possibilities that are as widespread and perplexing as the market itself. So while mutual funds have proven to be a low-maintenance, effective way for Americans to build wealth over the long term, the majority of investors still wonder: Where can I get the most bang for my buck? Mutual Fund Rules examines 50 of today's most common mutual fund maxims to provide answers to virtually any question you might have about mutual fund investing. From the best ways to build a college nest egg for your children to the smartest places for your retirement plan assets. This comprehensive guideBook clearly explains the entire mutual fund spectrum.

eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2002




PREFACE

A penny saved is a penny earned.
Benjamin Franklin

However, a penny invested carefully can become worth much more. Most people want their money to be well invested, but do not want to have investing become like a second job. Investing in mutual funds can be a low-maintenance, effective, and reasonably safe approach, whether you are investing retirement money, savings, or inheritance money.

According to the Investment Company Institute's latest survey of the mutual fund industry, the combined assets of the nation's mutual funds were $5.622 trillion in February 1999. Mutual funds have come a long way since the first one, Massachusetts Investors Trust, started in 1924.

RULES

The "rules" concept of using axioms to organize an investing book began with Stock Market Rules back in the year 1990. The 50-chapter book simply explained the meaning behind old Wall Street sayings. It examined how individual investors could learn from and make use of the information presented. The book was still selling well in 1999, updated and revised as a second edition. The same concept was used for Bond Market Rules, also published in 1999, and it became only logical to follow with this book for mutual fund investing.

AXIOMS

Just as Ben Franklin's wise sayings taught short, useful lessons in life, the axioms in this book present short, useful lessons for investing. Whether it's the concept of "Pay Yourself First" in Chapter 1, "Look Out for Ponzi Scams" in Chapter 3, or "Invest According to Objectives" in Chapter 18, the concise, clear chapters leave the reader with useful information.

THE BEST FUND

We all want the best fund, although it might not be the best for us. Top performers one year aren't necessarily in the same rank the following year. Things change, and top performance depends on a number of factors, including risk. The better approach is to find the best fund for you. Which fund has acceptable parameters that will fit your objectives, needs, and life stage? It might be a top performer now and then, but that's not necessarily the most important feature. Knowing and understanding the risk involved is oftentimes more important than performance.

DIVERSIFICATION

Understanding specific details of diversification and how risk can be examined is important. Many people assume that all mutual funds are diversified. Yes, they are, but some are much more diversified than others. Whereas greater diversification might lead to lower performance in the short term, it can also mean greater safety for the long run.

LONG TERM

The stock market fluctuates -- it goes up, it goes down -- but over the long term, it goes up. That is why you should consider mutual funds only with a long-term perspective. Long term with mutual funds usually means a minimum of 5 years. Therefore, it is essential that a mutual fund investment be the best fund for you.

MORE SOPHISTICATED

Mutual fund investing used to be a simple matter. You'd pick out a fund and buy it. Originally, the funds were all quite similar. That was before. Now, mutual funds have become highly specialized, with varying levels of risk and reward combinations. Even funds that might look the same at first glance are quite different on closer examination. One growth fund might put 25 percent of the assets into emerging markets, while another stays with only mid-sized-to-large U.S. companies. One index mutual fund will match the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, while another tries to beat the Russell 2000 Index, and yet another describes itself as "enhanced." So what's the difference in risk? Find out in Chapter 47, "Index Funds Follow the Market."

INVEST THE PENNIES

Earn those pennies, save those pennies, and invest them with care. It would be easy to make an argument saying that virtually every individual's investment portfolio should include some mutual fund allocation. Whether you decide to put all or some of your assets into a group of funds or a single fund, this book will show you how and help you understand why.

Copyright © 2000 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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