Mutual Fund 在新加坡或者马来西亚又名 – Unit Trust
A mutual fund is nothing more than a collection of stocks and/or bonds. You can think of a mutual fund as a company that brings together a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds, and other securities. Each investor owns shares, which represent a portion of the holdings of the fund.
You can make money from a mutual fund in three ways:
1) Income is earned from dividends on stocks and interest on bonds. A fund pays out nearly all of the income it receives over the year to fund owners in the form of a distribution.
2) If the fund sells securities that have increased in price, the fund has a capital gain. Most funds also pass on these gains to investors in a distribution.
3) If fund holdings increase in price but are not sold by the fund manager, the fund’s shares increase in price. You can then sell your mutual fund shares for a profit.
Funds will also usually give you a choice either to receive a check for distributions or to reinvest the earnings and get more shares.
Mutual Funds: The Type
Each fund has a predetermined investment objective that tailors the fund’s assets, regions of investments and investment strategies. At the fundamental level, there are three varieties of mutual funds:
1) Equity funds (stocks)
2) Fixed-income funds (bonds)
3) Money market funds
Money Market Funds
The money market consists of short-term debt instruments, mostly Treasury bills. This is a safe place to park your money. You won’t get great returns, but you won’t have to worry about losing your principal. A typical return is twice the amount you would earn in a regular checking/savings account and a little less than the average certificate of deposit (CD).
Income funds are named appropriately: their purpose is to provide current income on a steady basis. When referring to mutual funds, the terms “fixed-income,” “bond,” and “income” are synonymous. These terms denote funds that invest primarily in government and corporate debt. While fund holdings may appreciate in value, the primary objective of these funds is to provide a steady cashflow to investors. As such, the audience for these funds consists of conservative investors and retirees.
The objective of these funds is to provide a balanced mixture of safety, income and capital appreciation. The strategy of balanced funds is to invest in a combination of fixed income and equities. A typical balanced fund might have a weighting of 60% equity and 40% fixed income. The weighting might also be restricted to a specified maximum or minimum for each asset class.
Funds that invest in stocks represent the largest category of mutual funds. Generally, the investment objective of this class of funds is long-term capital growth with some income. There are, however, many different types of equity funds because there are many different types of equities
An international fund (or foreign fund) invests only outside your home country. Global funds invest anywhere around the world, including your home country.
Mutual Funds: The Costs
Fees can be broken down into two categories:
1. Ongoing yearly fees to keep you invested in the fund.
2. Transaction fees paid when you buy or sell shares in a fund
The Expense Ratio
The ongoing expenses of a mutual fund is represented by the expense ratio. This is sometimes also referred to as the management expense ratio (MER).
The expense ratio is composed of the following: (depends on the funds)
- management fee (0.5% – 2%)
- Administrative costs
- Sales Charge(1% – 5%)
- Selling Charge
Mutual Funds: Conclusion
- A mutual fund brings together a group of people and invests their money in stocks, bonds, and other securities.
- The advantages of mutuals are professional management, diversification, economies of scale, simplicity and liquidity.
- The disadvantages of mutuals are high costs, over-diversification, possible tax consequences, and the inability of management to guarantee a superior return.
- There are many, many types of mutual funds. You can classify funds based on asset class, investing strategy, region, etc.
- Mutual funds have lots of costs.
- Costs can be broken down into ongoing fees (represented by the expense ratio) and transaction fees (loads).
- The biggest problems with mutual funds are their costs and fees.
- Mutual funds are easy to buy and sell. You can either buy them directly from the fund company or through a third party.
- Mutual fund ads can be very deceiving.