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A mutual fund pools money from different investors in order to invest in a large group of assets (also known as securities) such as stocks and bonds. Professionals manage the holdings that make up the fund’s portfolio; investors buy shares that rise or fall in value based on the performance of the fund’s underlying securities. When a fund receives dividends or interest on the securities in its portfolio, it distributes a proportional amount of that income to its investors.The primary advantages of mutual funds are that they provide economies of scale, a higher level of diversification, they provide liquidity, and they are managed by professional investors. On the other side, investors in a mutual fund would be required to pay some fees and expenses.
* Increased diversification: A fund diversifies holding many securities. This diversification decreases risk.
* Professional investment management: Open-and closed-end funds hire portfolio managers to supervise the fund's investments.
* Ability to participate in investments that may be available only to larger investors. For example, individual investors often find it difficult to invest directly in foreign markets.
* Service and convenience: Funds often provide services such as check writing.
* Government oversight: Mutual funds are regulated by a governmental body.
* Transparency and ease of comparison: All mutual funds are required to report the same information to investors, which makes them easier to compare to each other.
* Lower cost: The cost of a single investor to buy a stock or a bond is lower than investing individually.
* Flexibility: Mutual funds enables changes portfolio with market conditions change.