Mutual fundFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis article is about mutual funds in the United States. For other forms of mutual investment, see Collectiveinvestment scheme. The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (September 2011)A mutual fund is a professionally managed type of collective investment scheme that pools money from manyinvestors to buy stocks, bonds, short-term money market instruments, and/or other securities. Contents [hide]1 Overview o 1.1 Advantages of mutual funds o 1.2 Disadvantages of mutual funds2 History3 Leading mutual fund complexes4 Types of mutual funds o 4.1 Open-end funds o 4.2 Closed-end funds o 4.3 Unit investment trusts o 4.4 Exchange-traded funds5 Investments and classification o 5.1 Money market funds o 5.2 Bond funds o 5.3 Stock or equity funds o 5.4 Hybrid funds o 5.5 Index (passively-managed) versus actively-managed6 Mutual fund expenses o 6.1 Distribution charges 6.1.1 Front-end load or sales charge 6.1.2 Back-end load 6.1.3 12b-1 fees
6.1.4 No-load funds 6.1.5 Share classes o 6.2 Management fee o 6.3 Other fund expenses o 6.4 Shareholder transaction fees o 6.5 Securities transaction fees o 6.6 Expense ratio o 6.7 Controversy7 Definitions o 7.1 Net asset value or NAV o 7.2 Average annual total return o 7.3 Turnover8 See also9 ReferencesOverviewIn the United States, a mutual fund is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and isoverseen by a board of directors (if organized as a corporation) or board of trustees (if organized as a trust).The board is charged with ensuring that the fund is managed in the best interests of the funds investors andwith hiring the fund manager and other service providers to the fund. The fund manager, also known as thefund sponsor or fund management company, trades (buys and sells) the funds investments in accordance withthe funds investment objective. A fund manager must be a registered investment advisor. Funds that aremanaged by the same fund manager and that have the same brand name are known as a "fund family" or"fund complex".The Investment Company Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act) established three types of registered investmentcompanies or RICs in the United States: open-end funds, unit investment trusts(UITs); and closed-end funds.Recently, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are open-end funds or unit investment trusts that trade on anexchange, have gained in popularity. While the term "mutual fund" may refer to all three types of registeredinvestment companies, it is more commonly used to refer exclusively to the open-end type.Hedge funds are not considered a type of mutual fund. While they are another type of commingled investmentscheme, they are not governed by the Investment Company Act of 1940 and are not required to register withthe Securities and Exchange Commission (though many hedge fund managers now must register asinvestment advisors).
Mutual funds are not taxed on their income as long as they comply with certain requirements established in theInternal Revenue Code. Specifically, they must diversify their investments, limit ownership of voting securities,distribute most of their income to their investors annually, and earn most of the income by investing insecurities and currencies. Mutual funds pass taxable income on to their investors. The type of income theyearn is unchanged as it passes through to the shareholders. For example, mutual fund distributions of dividendincome are reported as dividend income by the investor. There is an exception: net losses incurred by a mutualfund are not distributed or passed through to fund investors.Outside of the United States, mutual fund is used as a generic term for various types of collective investmentvehicles available to the general public, such as unit trusts, open-ended investment companies, unitizedinsurance funds, Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities, and SICAVs.Advantages of mutual fundsMutual funds have advantages compared to direct investing in individual securities.  These include: Increased diversification Daily liquidity Professional investment management Ability to participate in investments that may be available only to larger investors Service and convenience Government oversight Ease of comparisonDisadvantages of mutual fundsMutual funds have disadvantages as well, which include: Fees Less control over timing of recognition of gains Less predictable income No opportunity to customizeHistoryThe first mutual funds were established in Europe. One researcher credits a Dutch merchant with creating thefirst mutual fund in 1774. The first mutual fund outside the Netherlands was the Foreign & ColonialGovernment Trust, which was established in London in 1868. It is now the Foreign & Colonial InvestmentTrust and trades on the London stock exchange.
Mutual funds were introduced into the United States in the 1890s. They became popular during the 1920s.These early funds were generally of the closed-end type with a fixed number of shares which often traded atprices above the value of the portfolio.The first open-end mutual fund with redeemable shares was established on March 21, 1924. This fund, theMassachusetts Investors Trust, is now part of the MFS family of funds. However, closed-end funds remainedmore popular than open-end funds throughout the 1920s. By 1929, open-end funds accounted for only 5% ofthe industrys $27 billion in total assets.After the stock market crash of 1929, Congress passed a series of acts regulating the securities markets ingeneral and mutual funds in particular. The Securities Act of 1933 requires that all investments sold to thepublic, including mutual funds, be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and that theyprovide prospective investors with a prospectusthat discloses essential facts about the investment.The Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 requires that issuers of securities, including mutual funds, reportregularly to their investors; this act also created the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is theprincipal regulator of mutual funds. The Revenue Act of 1936 established guidelines for the taxation of mutualfunds, while the Investment Company Act of 1940 governs their structure.When confidence in the stock market returned in the 1950s, the mutual fund industry began to grow again. By1970, there were approximately 360 funds with $48 billion in assets. The introduction of money market fundsin the high interest rate environment of the late 1970s boosted industry growth dramatically. The firstretail index fund, First Index Investment Trust, was formed in 1976 by The Vanguard Group, headed by JohnBogle; it is now called the Vanguard 500 Index Fund and is one of the worlds largest mutual funds, with morethan $100 billion in assets as of January 31, 2011.Fund industry growth continued into the 1980s and 1990s, as a result of three factors: a bull market for bothstocks and bonds, new product introductions (including tax-exempt bond, sector, international and targetdate funds) and wider distribution of fund shares. Among the new distribution channels were retirementplans. Mutual funds are now the preferred investment option in certain types of fast-growing retirement plans,specifically in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans and in individual retirement accounts (IRAs), all ofwhich surged in popularity in the 1980s. Total mutual fund assets fell in 2008 as a result of the credit crisis of2008.In 2003, the mutual fund industry was involved in a scandal involving unequal treatment of fund shareholders.Some fund management companies allowed favored investors to engage inlate trading, which is illegal,or market timing, which is a practice prohibited by fund policy. The scandal was initially discovered by then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzerand resulted in significantly increased regulation of the industry.
At the end of 2010, there were 7,581 mutual funds in the United States with combined assets of $11.8 trillion,according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), a national trade association of investment companies inthe United States. The ICI reports that worldwide mutual fund assets were $24.7 trillion on the same date. Leading mutual fund complexesAt the end of 2010, the top 10 mutual fund complexes in the United States were: 1. Vanguard 2. Fidelity 3. American Funds (Capital Group) 4. PIMCO 5. JPMorgan Chase 6. Franklin Templeton 7. BlackRock 8. Federated 9. T. Rowe Price 10. BNY MellonTypes of mutual fundsThere are three basic types of registered investment companies defined in the Investment Company Act of1940: open-end funds, unit investment trusts, and closed-end funds. Exchange-traded funds are open-endfunds or unit investment trusts that trade on an exchange.Open-end fundsOpen-end mutual funds must be willing to buy back their shares from their investors at the end of everybusiness day at the net asset value computed that day. Most open-end funds also sell shares to the publicevery business day; these shares are also priced at net asset value. A professional investment manageroversees the portfolio, buying and selling securities as appropriate. The total investment in the fund will varybased on share purchases, share redemptions and fluctuation in market valuation. There is no legal limit on thenumber of shares that can be issued.Closed-end fundsClosed-end funds generally issue shares to the public only once, when they are created through an initial publicoffering. Their shares are then listed for trading on a stock exchange. Investors who no longer wish to invest inthe fund cannot sell their shares back to the fund (as they can with an open-end fund). Instead, they must selltheir shares to another investor in the market; the price they receive may be significantly different from net
asset value. It may be at a "premium" to net asset value (meaning that it is higher than net asset value) or,more commonly, at a "discount" to net asset value (meaning that it is lower than net asset value). Aprofessional investment manager oversees the portfolio, buying and selling securities as appropriate.Unit investment trustsUnit investment trusts or UITs issue shares to the public only once, when they are created. Investors canredeem shares directly with the fund (as with an open-end fund) or they may also be able to sell their shares inthe market. Unit investment trusts do not have a professional investment manager. Their portfolio of securitiesis established at the creation of the UIT and does not change. UITs generally have a limited life span,established at creation.Exchange-traded fundsMain article: Exchange-traded fundA relatively recent innovation, the exchange-traded fund or ETF is often structured as an open-end investmentcompany, though ETFs may also be structured as unit investment trusts, partnerships, investments trust,grantor trusts or bonds (as an exchange-traded note). ETFs combine characteristics of both closed-end fundsand open-end funds. Like closed-end funds, ETFs are traded throughout the day on a stock exchange at aprice determined by the market. However, as with open-end funds, investors normally receive a price that isclose to net asset value. To keep the market price close to net asset value, ETFs issue and redeem largeblocks of their shares with institutional investors.Most ETFs are index funds.Investments and classificationMutual funds may invest in many kinds of securities. The types of securities that a particular fund may invest inare set forth in the funds prospectus, which describes the funds investment objective, investment approachand permitted investments. The investment objective describes the type of income that the fund seeks. Forexample, a "capital appreciation" fund generally looks to earn most of its returns from increases in the prices ofthe securities it holds, rather than from dividend or interest income. The investment approach describes thecriteria that the fund manager uses to select investments for the fund.A mutual funds investment portfolio is continually monitored by the funds portfolio manager or managers, whoare employed by the funds manager or sponsor.Mutual funds are classified by their principal investments. The four largest categories of funds are moneymarket funds, bond or fixed income funds, stock or equity funds and hybrid funds. Within these categories,funds may be subclassified by investment objective, investment approach or specific focus. The SEC requiresthat mutual fund names not be inconsistent with a funds investments. For example, the "ABC New Jersey Tax-
Exempt Bond Fund" would generally have to invest, under normal circumstances, at least 80% of its assets inbonds that are exempt from federal income tax, from the alternative minimum tax and from taxes in the state ofNew Jersey.Bond, stock and hybrid funds may be classified as either index (passively-managed) funds or actively-managedfunds.Money market fundsMoney market funds invest in money market instruments, which are fixed income securities with a very shorttime to maturity and high credit quality. Investors often use money market funds as a substitute for banksavings accounts, though money market funds are not government insured, unlike bank savings accounts.Money market funds strive to maintain a $1.00 per share net asset value, meaning that investors earn interestincome from the fund but do not experience capital gains or losses. If a fund fails to maintain that $1.00 pershare because its securities have declined in value, it is said to "break the buck". Only two money market fundshave ever broken the buck: Community Bankers U.S. Government Money Market Fund in 1994 and theReserve Primary Fund in 2008.At the end of 2010, money market funds accounted for 24% of the assets in all U.S. mutual funds. Bond fundsBond funds invest in fixed income securities. Bond funds can be subclassified according to the specific types ofbonds owned (such as high-yield or junk bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, government bonds ormunicipal bonds) or by the maturity of the bonds held (short-, intermediate- or long-term). Bond funds mayinvest in primarily U.S. securities (domestic or U.S. funds), in both U.S. and foreign securities (global or worldfunds), or primarily foreign securities (international funds).At the end of 2010, bond funds accounted for 22% of the assets in all U.S. mutual funds. Stock or equity fundsStock or equity funds invest in common stocks. Stock funds may invest in primarily U.S. securities (domestic orU.S. funds), in both U.S. and foreign securities (global or world funds), or primarily foreign securities(international funds). They may focus on a specific industry or sector.A stock fund may be subclassified along two dimensions: (1) market capitalization and (2) investment style (i.e.,growth vs. blend/core vs. value). The two dimensions are often displayed in a grid known as a "style box."Market capitalization or market cap indicates the size of the companies a fund invests in, based on the value ofthe companys stock. Each companys market capitalization equals the number of shares outstanding times themarket price of the stock. Market capitalizations are typically divided into the following categories:
Micro cap Small cap Mid cap Large capWhile the specific definitions of each category vary with market conditions, large cap stocks generally havemarket capitalizations of at least $10 billion, small cap stocks have market capitalizations below $2 billion, andmicro cap stocks have market capitalizations below $300 million. Funds are also classified in these categoriesbased on the market caps of the stocks that it holds.Stock funds are also subclassified according to their investment style: growth, value or blend (or core). Growthfunds seek to invest in stocks of fast-growing companies. Value funds seek to invest in stocks that appearcheaply priced. Blend funds are not biased toward either growth or value.At the end of 2010, stock funds accounted for 48% of the assets in all U.S. mutual funds.Hybrid fundsHybrid funds invest in both bonds and stocks or in convertible securities. Balanced funds, asset allocationfunds, target date or target risk funds and lifecycle or lifestyle funds are all types of hybrid funds.Hybrid funds may be structured as funds of funds, meaning that they invest by buying shares in other mutualfunds that invest in securities. Most fund of funds invest in affiliated funds (meaning mutual funds managed bythe same fund sponsor), although some invest in unaffiliated funds (meaning those managed by other fundsponsors) or in a combination of the two.At the end of 2010, hybrid funds accounted for 6% of the assets in all U.S. mutual funds.Index (passively-managed) versus actively-managedMain articles: Index fund and active managementAn index fund or passively-managed fund seeks to match the performance of a market index, such as the S&P500 index, while an actively managed fund seeks to outperform a relevant index through superior securityselection.Mutual fund expensesInvestors in mutual funds pay fees. These fall into four categories: distribution charges (sales loads and 12b-1fees), the management fee, other fund expenses, shareholder transaction fees and securities transaction fees.Some of these expenses reduce the value of an investors account; others are paid by the fund and reduce netasset value. Recurring expenses are included in a funds expense ratio.Distribution charges
Main article: Mutual fund fees and expensesDistribution charges pay for marketing and distribution of the funds shares to investors.Front-end load or sales chargeA front-end load or sales charge is a commission paid to a broker by a mutual fund when shares arepurchased. It is expressed as a percentage of the total amount invested (including the front-end load), knownas the "public offering price." The front-end load often declines as the amount invested increases,through breakpoints. Front-end loads are deducted from an investors account and reduce the amountinvested.Back-end loadSome funds have a back-end load, which is paid by the investor when shares are redeemed depending on howlong they are held. The back-end loads may decline the longer the investor holds shares. Back-end loads withthis structure are called contingent deferred sales charges (or CDSCs). Like front-end loads, back-end loadsare deducted from an investors account.12b-1 feesA mutual fund may charge an annual fee, known as a 12b-1 fee, for marketing and distribution services. Thisfee is computed as a percentage of a funds assets, subject to a maximum of 1% of assets. The 12b-1 fee isincluded in the expense ratio.No-load fundsA no-load fund does not charge a front-end load under any circumstances, does not charge a back-end loadunder any circumstances and does not charge a 12b-1 fee greater than 0.25% of fund assets.Share classesA single mutual fund may give investors a choice of different combinations of front-end loads, back-end loadsand 12b-1 fees, by offering several different types of shares, known as share classes. All of the shares classesinvest in the same portfolio of securities, but each has different expenses and, therefore, a different net assetvalue and different performance results. Some of these share classes may be available only to certain types ofinvestors.Typical share classes for funds sold through brokers or other intermediaries are: Class A shares usually charge a front-end sales load together with a small 12b-1 fee. Class B shares dont have a front-end sales load. Instead they, have a high contingent deferred sales charge, or CDSC that declines gradually over
several years, combined with a high12b-1 fee. Class B shares usually convert automatically to Class A shares after they have been held for a certain period. Class C shares have a high 12b-1 fee and a modest contingent deferred sales charge that is discontinued after one or two years. Class C shares usually do not convert to another class. They are often called "level load" shares. Class I are subject to very high minimum investment requirements and are, therefore, known as "institutional" shares. They are no-load shares. Class R are for use in retirement plans such as 401(k) plans. They do not charge loads, but do charge a small 12b-1 fee.No-load funds often have two classes of shares: Class I shares do not charge a 12b-1 fee. Class N shares charge a 12b-1 fee of no more than 0.25% of fund assets.Neither class of shares charges a front-end or back-end load.Management feeThe management fee is paid to the fund manager or sponsor who organizes the fund, provides the portfoliomanagement or investment advisory services and normally lends its brand name to the fund. The fundmanager may also provide other administrative services. The management fee often has breakpoints, whichmeans that it declines as assets (in either the specific fund or in the fund family as a whole) increase. Themanagement fee is paid by the fund and is included in the expense ratio.Other fund expensesA mutual fund pays for other services including: Board of directors (or board of trustees) fees and expenses Custody fee: paid to a bank for holding the funds portfolio in safekeeping Fund accounting fee: for computing the net asset value daily Professional services fees: legal and accounting fees Registration fees: when making filings with regulatory agencies Shareholder communications expenses: printing and mailing required documents to shareholders Transfer agent services fee: keeping shareholder records and responding to customer inquiries
These expenses are included in the expense ratio.Shareholder transaction feesShareholders may be required to pay fees for certain transactions. For example, a fund may charge a flat feefor maintaining an individual retirement account for an investor. Some funds charge redemption fees when aninvestor sells fund shares shortly after buying them (usually defined as within 30, 60 or 90 days of purchase);redemption fees are computed as a percentage of the sale amount. Shareholder transaction fees are not partof the expense ratio.Securities transaction feesA mutual fund pays any expenses related to buying or selling the securities in its portfolio. These expensesmay include brokerage commissions. Securities transaction fees increase the cost basis of the investments.They do not flow through the income statement and are not included in the expense ratio. The amount ofsecurities transaction fees paid by a fund is normally positively correlated with its trading volume or "turnover".Expense ratioThe expense ratio allows investors to compare expenses across funds. The expense ratio equals the 12b-1 feeplus the management fee plus the other fund expenses divided by average net assets. The expense ratio issometimes referred to as the "total expense ratio" or TER.ControversyCritics of the fund industry argue that fund expenses are too high. They believe that the market for mutualfunds is not competitive and that there are many hidden fees, so that it is difficult for investors to reduce thefees that they pay.Many researchers have suggested that the most effective way for investors to raise the returns they earn frommutual funds is to reduce the fees that they pay. They suggest that investors look for no-load funds with lowexpense ratios.DefinitionsDefinitions of key terms.Net asset value or NAVMain article: Net asset valueA funds net asset value or NAV equals the current market value of a funds holdings minus the funds liabilities(sometimes referred to as "net assets"). It is usually expressed as a per-share amount, computed by dividingby the number of fund shares outstanding. Funds must compute their net asset value every day the New YorkStock Exchange is open.
Valuing the securities held in a funds portfolio is often the most difficult part of calculating net asset value. Thefunds board of directors (or board of trustees) oversees security valuation.Average annual total returnThe SEC requires that mutual funds report the average annual compounded rates of return for 1-year, 5-yearand 10-year periods using the following formula: P(1+T)n = ERV Where: P = a hypothetical initial payment of $1,000. T = average annual total return. n = number of years. ERV = ending redeemable value of a hypothetical $1,000 payment made at the beginning of the 1-, 5-, or 10-year periods at the end of the 1-, 5-, or 10-year periods (or fractional portion). Turnover Turnover is a measure of the volume of a funds securities trading. It is expressed as a percentage of net asset value and is normally annualized. Turnover equals the lesser of a funds purchases or sales during a given period (of no more than a year) divided by average net assets. If the period is less than a year, the turnover figure is annualized. See also Fund derivative Global assets under management Institutional investor Investment management Lipper average List of mutual fund companies in Canada List of mutual-fund families in the United States List of US mutual funds by assets under management Mutual funds in India Money fund
Mutual-fund scandal (2003) Pension Retirement plans in the United States Separately managed account or SMAs Socially responsible investing Superannuation fund Value investing Venture capitalReferences 1. ^ "U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Information on Mutual Funds". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Retrieved 2011-04-06. 2. ^ I.R.C. § 851(b)(3) and I.R.C. § 852(a) 3. ^ Pozen, Robert; Hamacher, Theresa (2011). The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 5–7. 4. ^ Pozen and Hamacher (2011), pp. 7–9. 5. ^ Rouwenhorst, K. Geert, "The Origins of Mutual Funds," Yale ICF Working Paper No. 04-48 (December 12, 2004), p. 5. 6. ^ Rouwenhorst (2004), p. 16. 7. ^ Rouwenhorst (2004), p. 17. 8. ^ Fink, Matthew P. (2008). The Rise of Mutual Funds. Oxford University Press. p. 9. 9. ^ Fink (2008), p. 15. 10. ^ Fink (2008), p. 63. 11. ^ "Vanguard – 500 Index Fund Investor Shares". The Vanguard Group. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 12. ^ Pozen and Hamacher (2011), pp. 11–15. 13. ^ a b c d e "2011 Investment Company Fact Book". Investment Company Institute. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 14. ^ Robert Pozen and Theresa Hamacher, "Most Likely to Succeed: Leadership in the Fund Industry", Financial Analysts Journal, Vol. 67, No. 6, 2011.  15. ^ 17 C.F.R. § 270.35d-1
16. ^ "Final Rule: Registration Form Used by Open-End Management Investment Companies: Sample Form and instructions". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Retrieved 2008-09-25. [hide] v d e Investment management Common contractual fund · Fond commun de placement · Investment trust · Unit trust · Mutual fund · ICVC Collective investment scheme structures fund · Unitised insurance fund Investment styles Active or Passive management · Value or Growth investing · Hedge fund · Socially responsible investing · Im Theory and terminology Efficient-market hypothesis · Net asset value · Open-end fund · Closed-end fund Related topics List of asset management firms · Umbrella fund · UCITS View page ratings Rate this page Whats this? Trustworthy Objective Complete Well-written I am highly knowledgeable about this topic (optional) Submit ratings Categories: Mutualism (movement) Financial services Investment Institutional investors Collective investment schemes Mutual funds of the United States Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history