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Mutual Funds Investments

Mutual funds are a type of collective investment plan when a professional is paid to pool money from several investors and invest it in what he feels will yield the most for his client's original outlay. It may consist of a portfolio of stocks, bonds, short-term money instruments and other types of securities. The professional or fund manager trades the pooled money on a regular basis and usually at the fiscal years end will distribute either loss or profit to the clients of the mutual fund involved.In the United States and Canada there are three basic types of companies who do investment. These are open-end funds or more commonly known as mutual funds, unit investment trusts (UITs) and closed funds.

Mutual funds are administered by a professional manager and typically invest in many different kinds of securities. Cash instruments such as stocks and bonds are the most common securities but there are literally hundreds of sub-categories. A good example of this is stock funds that could be invested primarily in industry shares like factories or utilities and these investments are known as sector funds. Another way bond funds can differ is according to risks, types of issuers (government, corporations or municipalities) and the maturity of the bonds issued. They (stock and bond funds) can be investments that take place mostly in U.S. securities which are known as domestic funds, both U.S. and foreign securities or global funds, or primarily foreign securities or international funds.

Portfolios or groupings of investments such as mutual funds are adjusted under the guidance of a professional funds manager who predicts investment cash flows into and out of the fund and any future performance of the investments that are appropriate to the funds. His job is to choose those which are believed will be close to the fund's stated investment objective. These funds are administered by and advisory contract with a management company who can hire and fire the fund managers who deal with your particular case.

In the United States all mutual funds are subject under a special set of regulations, accounting and tax laws. They are not necessarily taxed on their income but they must distribute 90% of it to shareholders. The funds must also meet certain diversification criteria with an Internal Revenue Code. Often the type of income earned remains unchanged as it passes through to the shareholders. There are two types of taxable distribution which are either ordinary income or capital gains which are determined by how the fund earned these distributions. Net losses however are never distributed or passed through to the investors.

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