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What Are All the Types of Mutual Funds Available?

Aug 20, 2008
When it comes down to it, there are thousands of choices when it comes to investing in mutual funds. The only way you're going to know which fund is the best for you is by assessing the investment strategy of that fund and looking at the risks that are associated with it. This is important to do so that you can find the mutual fund that is the right fit for you. If not, it is like putting your shoes on the wrong feet. You're not going to be able to stand on your feet for too long. Finding the right fit means that you can stay in the game and actually benefit from it financially.

But since there are thousands of choices, we're just going to discuss the main categories that mutual funds fall into. Those funds are:

1. Money market funds - These are funds that have a lower risk compared to many of the other funds out there. It is mandated by law that money market funds are only able to invest in short-term investments that are of a high quality. These investments can only be made in U.S. companies and the different levels of government. The good news is that investor losses are quite rare, but they have happened. This is more or less the type of fund utilized by those who do not like risk.

2. Bond funds, or fixed income funds - These mutual funds have a higher risk than money market funds. The reason why the risk is higher is because these are the funds that tend to seek out higher returns. These types of mutual funds are not restricted to a certain type of investment like money market funds are. Most importantly, their risks can vary. Such risks include: a credit risk because certain parties may not pay the bills, interest rate risks because the value of these bonds can go down when the interest rate goes up, and prepayment risks because the bond issuer may decide to pay off debt to issue new bonds when the interest rate falls.

3. Global equity growth funds - The value of these mutual funds can rise and fall very quickly over a short period of time. However, they do tend to perform better over the long-term, making this a fund that a lot of long-term investors embark upon. These tend to be the riskiest of the funds, but funds tend to have higher returns when they are extremely risky. It just depends on what type of risk you want to take.

4. Balanced funds - These funds consist of different types of investments such as bonds, common and preferred stocks, and short-term bonds. This avoids too much risk and gives the investor the opportunity to receive income and capital appreciation. These types of mutual funds give the investor the opportunity for both growth and income. These investments tend to manage the downturn of the stock market better. That means there is not as much loss associated with these funds.

So now you know the different types of funds. Now it is just a matter of sifting through the thousands of funds within them that can yield great profits or large growth. It depends on what type of risk you are prepared to take with your money. Just keep in mind that the greater the risk the higher the return tends to be. However, the greater risk can also result in money being lost. Once that money is lost, it can't be recovered. So you have to ask yourself whether a short-term investment is best for you or if you are willing to go on in for the long haul.
About the Author
Offshore financial services firm with subsidiaries in Grand Cayman, Bahamas and London, LOM specializes in offshore financial services, offshore bank account, mutual funds, asset management, internationally domiciled accounts and top notch customer service.
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