Mutual Funds Information

A mutual fund is a professionally managed type of collective investment scheme that pools money from many investors and invests typically in investment securities . The mutual fund will have a fund manager that trades the fund's investments in accordance with the fund's investment objective. In the U.S., a fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under both SEC and Internal Revenue Service rules must distribute nearly all of its net income and net realized gains from the sale of securities to its investors at least annually. Most funds are overseen by a board of directors or trustees which is charged with ensuring the fund is managed appropriately by its investment adviser and other service organizations and vendors, all in the best interests of the fund's investors.

Since 1940 in the U.S., with the passage of the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, there have been three basic types of registered investment companies or mutual funds: open-end funds, unit investment trusts ; and closed-end funds. Other types of funds that have gained in popularity are exchange traded funds and hedge funds, discussed below. Similar types of funds also operate in Canada, however, in the rest of the world, mutual fund is used as a generic term for various types of collective investment vehicles, such as unit trusts, open-ended investment companies , unitized insurance funds, undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities and SICAVs .

Massachusetts Investors Trust was founded on March 21, 1924, and, after one year, it had 200 shareholders and $392,000 in assets. The entire industry, which included a few closed-end funds, represented less than $10 million in 1924.

Wikipedia, Mutual Funds, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_Funds (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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