Mutual funds can be a good way to invest money for a variety of savings goals. A mutual fund is a pool of investments owned by many investors. The fund manager(s), the investment professional(s) who manage the fund, buy securities (like stocks and bonds) selected to meet specific objectives. Mutual fund investors make money when the overall value of the fund goes up. Unfortunately, they can lose money, too.
Mutual funds typically contain a mix of securities. This diversity of investments can mean less risk than buying stocks or bonds on your own.
How mutual funds can help you reach your goals
Retirement — Look for mutual funds with a long-term focus, either within our outside of your existing retirement account.
Emergency savings — Consider a money market fund that offers stability and lets you cash out at any time.
A new home — Match your fund selection to your risk level and time frame.
Other goals — A financial consultant or online tool can help you choose appropriate funds for your situation.
How do you choose the right mutual fund for your situation?
Follow these steps to help find mutual funds that match your objectives:
Clarify your time horizon
Knowing how much time you have until you’ll need to withdraw your investment is a key factor to consider.
Know your risk tolerance
How much risk are you willing to take to see the higher returns on your investment? Generally, you’ll need to take on more risk to see potentially bigger returns. Likewise, less risky investments tend to produce smaller returns.
Financial planners often say that by spreading your money across a mix of investments in two or more asset classes (i.e. equities, fixed income, real estate) you can potentially achieve a good return, while smoothing out the ups and downs due to the market.1
Choose your funds
Once you have considered the factors above, you can start looking at mutual funds that match your personal preferences.
If you are ready to invest for the first time, or change the way your existing money is invested, you can research and choose investments on your own using the web. Or get help from a consultant to guide your decisions. Additionally, consider lifecycle mutual funds that automatically adjust the investment mix based on a target date when you may need the money.²
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Call 877-518-9161 for product and fund prospectuses that contain this and other information. Please read the prospectuses carefully before investing.
1 No method of investing can ensure a profit or protect against loss.
2 Please note, the target date for Lifecycle funds is the approximate date when investors plan to start withdrawing their money. The principal value of the fund(s) is not guaranteed at any time, including at the target date.