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Mutual funds offer a number of benefits for most investors, including:

 

 

Instant Diversification:
   

Most mutual funds invest in many different individual securities -- typically 50 or more. To do the same, an individual investor would need to have many thousands, or even millions, of dollars to invest and a great deal of time.

 
  Cost Savings:
   

By pooling their money into a mutual fund, investors can take advantage of economies of scale. If you traded securities by yourself, you'd probably have to pay relatively high brokerage commissions and potentially other fees. In addition, you may not get the best price when buying or selling a stock or bond. Because mutual funds buy stocks or bonds "in bulk," they may be able to negotiate an advantageous price and pay lower brokerage commissions.

 
  Professional Management:
 

 

Mutual funds are run by highly trained portfolio managers who decide where to invest shareholders' money. These professionals can devote themselves full-time to monitoring market and economic trends. They have the skills and resources to carefully analyze economic and financial data and to identify the investments with the best potential. They chart trends, scrutinize individual companies, and ensure that the fund's portfolio is fully diversified – which reduces your exposure to the ups and downs of individual securities.


 
  Choice:
   

Mutual funds offer a variety of investment options to meet your needs. Whether you're seeking short-term income, hoping to gain tax advantages or looking to achieve long-term growth, mutual funds provide you with choices that can match your investment needs today and for the future.

 
  Flexibility:
   

You can usually buy, exchange, or sell fund shares anytime, which makes it easy for you to adjust your investment portfolio as your needs change.

 
  Convenience:
   

Mutual funds offer a convenient way to begin investing in the market. Many fund companies make it easy for you to move money from your bank account into a mutual fund or funds. In many cases, you can also set up a program to automatically transfer a set amount of money from your bank account into a fund on a regular basis.


Although investing can be profitable over the long term, you should know that it can involve a considerable amount of risk. Unlike bank deposits, mutual funds are not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government or any other financial institution. In other words, you could lose some or all of the money that you invest.

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