Investing is important for it ensures that at the end of a certain period you can benefit out of your invested money. Investing can be done through investment funds. Investing funds are collective investment schemes that require investor to create a pool of capital and in return the investor enjoys wide diversification, professional management, and lower costs that would have been otherwise impossible using a small amount of money. Several funds company exists all over the world, and so are the online tools that are used to compare performance of these companies. Such companies help to simplifies decision-making process as well as pre-screens investments on behalf of their clients who are not able to choose the best funds that they can invest in. Though there are some private banks that also offer the services, the investors end up paying higher as compared to one fund manager.
They act as a derivative or security. They may be quite basic such as a bond or stock, or sometimes rigidly structured like in an asset-backed security. Investment vehicle is used to make profit on an invested capital in it. It may entail purchasing of a debt obligation, requiring repayment to be with interest, (Farlex, 2012). Sometimes it takes a direction of buying an ownership stake within a business while having hope that the business will make profit as time goes by. There are several investment vehicles each with its greater or lesser regulation within the area of operation. They distinctly have their rewards and risks, therefore it is important for an individual who intend to invest have a combination of astuteness, good luck, timing, and market knowledge. Some of the examples of investment vehicles are bonds, preferred stock, common stock, collectibles, annuities, and options.
This is an investment strategy that involves limited ongoing actions of buying and selling. Usually a passive investor purchases investments aiming long-term appreciation as well as limited maintenance. It is also known as buy-and-hold or couch potato strategy and it needs good initial research, patience, together with a portfolio that has been well diversified, (Harp Sandhu, 2011). Some of its benefits are that it has low operating expenses and that is significant for an investor. Another advantage is that no action is needed for it has no decision making from the manager or the investor. Disadvantages of passive management are that it lacks control. Managers are not capable to take action, for example index fund managers are commonly locked out of using defensive measures like moving out stocks in case they have foreseen that there is likelihood of stock prices declining. Another disadvantage is that their performance is dictated by the index. Therefore investors have to be satisfied with the returns from the market since index fund only offer that as the best.
This involves professional investment managers becomes responsible for creating as well as managing investments portfolios, thereafter buy or sell them with intention of gaining and reducing losses, (CAF Partnerzone, 2013). Acting as professional managers means that there is much expectation from your expertise to assist the outperform the return of a particular benchmark, (like FTSE, All Share Index) or on comparison against the same managed portfolios for peer group.
Among its benefits is that it respond to changing conditions of the market. In case fund managers has foresaw that a given investment sector, company or asset class might do poorly or well in the future, they might decide reposes their portfolio in order to benefit from their insight within the market, thereby getting advantage of delivering greater returns over their competitors. The disadvantage part of it is that the average fund manager might fail to beat his benchmark, making him to be doing too little that can justify his fee.
This is a form of professionally managed collective investment vehicle that works by pooling money from several investors to be used in purchasing securities. Even though we don't have a legal definition of mutual fund as a term, it is especially used only with those collective investment vehicles that undergo regulation before they are sold to the public. Mutual funds may also be known as registered investment companies or investment companies. Many of the mutual funds are open-ended therefore investors have the opportunity to buy or sell shares of the fund any moment. Mutual funds within the United States have to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, under the watch of board of directors, as well as managed through a registered investment adviser. They do not escape to be taxed on their income and profits unless they have agreed to comply with some requirements based on the Internal Revenue Code of U.S.
The three common types of mutual funds in U.S. are: closed-end, unit investment trust, open-end. Open-end fund is the most common type and it must be willing to buy back shares from investors during each business day. Based on the principal investments, mutual funds may also be categorized as index or actively managed. There are several benefits and disadvantages that managed mutual funds have.
Some of the benefits are: Diversification: Managed mutual fund helps in spreading the risks. The aim of diversification is for investing in a large number of assets to minimize a loss in any particular investment through gains in others. Meaning that owning more stocks and bonds will reduce the chances of any hurting you. Mutual funds also offer professional management for its investors. The main purpose as to why investors purchase funds is because they may not have the expertise and the time to manage their own portfolio. In this way a small investor will find it not expensive as to get a full tile manager who will be responsible in their investments monitoring. Liquidity: A mutual fund will work like an individual stock in providing opportunity for one to request for a conversion of shares into cash any time, (Abacus Consulting Services, 2009). Mutual fund also allows for economies of scale because as it buys and sells at a time a large amount of securities definitely the costs of transaction becomes lower as compared to what an individual would pay. Finally mutual funds offer simplicity, where buying becomes easy and some companies even provides automatic purchase plans and they allow investing as little as $100 per month.
Mutual funds have their disadvantages. In terms of professional management some managers may not offer better management that may result to a fund loosing money. Since every mutual fund is there to make profit, they subject their investors to unnecessary costs which are so complicated. There is also possibility of dilution which may be as a result of too much diversification. The dilution can as well be brought by greater expansion from a successful fund, a manger may have problem of finding a better investment for the entire money that has entered the fund. Taxes is another disadvantage of mutual funds, for instance when a fund manager sells a security, there are possibilities of a capital-gain tax triggered and this will definitely affects the profitability of an individual from the sale.
Exchange Traded Funds
Exchange Traded Funds are used to duplicate the holdings within a given benchmark or index as it tries to replicate the performance of that index. Though they are similar to mutual funds, they also differ in a way; while exchange traded funds tend to be traded as well as priced throughout the trading day similarly to the stocks, mutual funds are usually priced once in a day particularly when the trade is ending in a day during closure of the markets. Exchange traded funds are well recognized for their tax efficient and inexpensive, (Andrew Chan, 2011). Due to the fact that their holdings are meant to track an index, they will therefore change just in case the holdings of the index changes. Moreover, popularity of ETFs facilitates development of new indexes for ETFs to track. This has made some ETFs to start appearing as active mutual funds with lower tax efficiency, higher expenses, and higher costs. Some of the examples of ETFs are: www.amundiettf.com which offers two ETFs for tracking the Italian market, one linked to the FTSE MIB Index and the other to the MSCI Italy (Dr. David Costa, 2011).
There are benefits of exchange traded funds. Annual expenses and trading costs of ETFs tend to be lower especially compared to non-index mutual funds. ETFs do not have to buy and sell securities or hold cash for it to pay fund investors in case there is redemption request. They trade like stocks and this makes them to be bought and sold throughout the trading day as fluctuation of price continues hence be bought on margin, sold short, or the trade to be carried out using stop orders and limit orders, (Marotta Asset Management, 2006). Exchange traded funds provide an opportunity for diversification of portfolio into more sectors of the market like commodities; and…