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One way to become a successful investor is to invest using mutual funds. If you’re new to the investing world, a mutual fund is an investment program funded by shareholders that trade in diversified holdings and professionally manage the fund. The following tips will help you become a successful mutual fund investor.

Know the types and categories
Mutual funds are organized by asset class (stocks, bonds and cash), and further broken down and categorized by style, objective and strategy. Knowing the different categories of funds will help you choose the best allocation to allow for a diverse portfolio.

Know your risk tolerance
Before picking a fund and investing it is important to know how much risk you can tolerate. Risk tolerance is measured by how much fluctuation you can handle. Each mutual fund also carries some amount of risk from factors such as the funds investment methodology. Once you have your risk factor figured out and what you’re looking at in a return, you can then select your funds.

Build a portfolio
Creating a portfolio of funds needs to be structured to make sure you are seeing great returns on your investments. The best mutual funds are built around a strong combination of mutual funds that work specifically for your needs and your investment strategies. If you do not feel comfortable building a portfolio on your own, reach out to a certified financial planner (CFP) that can give you advice on maximizing your investing efforts.

Choose the best funds
Before looking at funds, decide on your investment strategy. You should take into consideration your financial situation, goals, timeline, and risk tolerance. Once you start looking at funds, it is important to do your research! The important information you need about a mutual fund is apart of its online profile and its printed prospectus. Keep in mind the performance of the mutual fund as well as any costs associated with the fund.

Plan for long term investing
You will see the best returns on your portfolio when they are invested for long periods of time. When you invest long-term, you are allowing the investments to grow. Whatever was invested will grow over some period of time. The grown amount will then be invested into something else and get higher returns. The longer you remain invested, the more growth your assets have.

Remember, some mutual funds are aggressive, some are conservative, some are structured to produce dividends and interest income, and others are meant to be invested for growth. If you are ready to dive into mutual fund investing, take the time to conduct research to find the funds and strategies that will work best for you and your investing future.