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Long Term Value Investing with Mutual Funds

Aug 17, 2007
Years ago trading was usually an activity carried out by wealthy individuals from families that had likely been wealthy for generations. It wasn't uncommon for the corporations of old to be owned and controlled by the members of a single family. However, over time the markets began to accommodate institutions comprised of groups of investors. This type of trading also evolved to involve different types of investment possibilities that served the interests of a variety of companies and people particularly for long-term savings goals.

Pension Funds
A pension is any payment made to a retired person based on years of service. Most pension payments are made in the form of annuity payments that pay a set amount each year. A pension fund usually involves regular contributions by the employer to an investment account. The risks of investment are taken by the plan sponsor (the employer). The investment account requires constant management to ensure the success of the fund.

Insurance
It used to be that insurance companies were only associated with planning for the future as far as life insurance or health insurance to protect against emergencies. Life and health insurance are an absolute necessity when trying to ensure financial security. Disaster can strike at any time making it not only an emotionally difficult time for family, but also financially if not prepared. Insurance companies over the years due to increasing medical costs have begun delving into other areas of financial planning. Namely the offering of financial products like Mutual funds (to be discussed in a moment) and annuities that make saving for the future easier and more accessible no matter what the financial position or need is.

Mutual Funds
A mutual fund is perhaps one of the most popular means of long term investing and is the vehicle of choice in IRAs and 401k accounts. A mutual fund is basically a way of investing in a pool of different companies in order to minimize risk. A mutual fund investment can involve investing in stocks, bonds and other securities. The appeal of a mutual fund is the fact that a fund manager makes the decisions regarding what investments should be made. Usually with mutual funds, an investor can choose the level of risk they are willing to assume. Since the goal is long term investing, a degree of risk is acceptable since overtime the collective value of the stocks in a fund will grow.

Mutual funds utilize a number of different strategies in order to increase their value. The primary advantage of a mutual fund is that of diversification and professional management. Professional portfolio management isn't something that a majority of investors have access to so it serves as not only a safer investment but also usually a more profitable one. It should of course not be assumed that a mutual fund is a completely safe investment since it still hinges on the stock market that is prone to fluctuations, but since the goal is long term investing those fluctuations should not have a great impact on the overall future of the fund.
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