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Finance: Investing Guide

Mutual Funds

Table of Contents

Mutual Fund & Investment Company Terms

Comment Icon0 Definitions of the following terms are taken directly from Strauss’s Handbook of Business Information: A Guide for Librarians, Students, and Researchers, 2nd Edition by Rita W. Moss available in the Maag Stacks at call number
Z7164 .C81 S7796 2004.

Comment Icon0 Investment Companies:  Companies that sell shares in the investments held in diversified securities portfolios acquired with the pooled money of shareholders. Investment companies are for those who prefer to relinquish responsibility for selection of securities and portfolio management to professional investment managers. The investor’s responsibility ceases after making initial selection and purchase of shares in a chosen investment company, until such time as the investor decides to redeem the shares at current market value or switch to another fund. The shares purchased may be in open- or closed-end investment companies.

Comment Icon0 Mutual Funds/Open-End Investment Companies: Open-end investment companies, known as mutual funds, are those that will sell an unlimited number of shares to all interested investors. They stand ready to issue new shares or redeem old ones on a daily basis. As the number of shareholders increases, the pool of money to be invested grows proportionally and the securities portfolio expands. The shares are sold, or repurchased, at prices reflecting the value of the underlying securities. Shares in open-end investment companies are sold directly to the investor by the issuing company.

Comment Icon0 Closed-End Investment Companies: Issue and sell a fixed number of shares only once, at the time they are established. If new investors want to buy into a closed-end investment company, they must purchase some of the existing shares from another investor, using a stockbroker as an intermediary. Shares in these companies, also known as publicly traded investment companies, are traded on the major stock exchanges and over the counter, and their prices move up and down with investor demand.

Comment Icon0 Load and No-Load Funds: Some mutual fund shares are sold using stockbrokers or securities dealers as middlemen. They promote the funds, handle the paperwork, and make it convenient for the investor to buy shares. These services must be paid for, so for each transaction, a sales charge, or load, ranging from 1-1/2 to 8-1/2 percent is deducted from the initial investment. Other funds must be purchased directly from the issuing investment company. Because no middlemen are involved, often no sales commission, or load, is deducted, and these funds are called no-load funds. The total amount of the investment goes directly into fund shares.

Comment Icon0 Unit Investment Trust: A mutual fund alternative is the unit investment trust (UIT). This is a registered investment company that buys and holds a relatively fixed portfolio of stocks, bonds, or other securities. “Units” in the trust are sold to investors, who receive a share of principal and interest or dividends. Many are collections of long-term bonds and therefore may remain outstanding for 20 or 30 years. Investors who choose bond UITs receive regular monthly income, and those who hold stock UITs receive dividend income, paid out monthly, quarterly, or semiannually, plus long-term capital growth potential. UITs have a stated date for termination, and when they are dissolved, proceeds from the holdings are paid to investors.

Comment Icon0 Hedge Fund: Another mutual fund alternative is a hedge fund, which is an unregistered private investment pool that is subject to far less regulatory oversight than a mutual fund. With the exception of anti-fraud standards, they are exempt from regulation by the SEC under the federal securities laws. Hedge fund managers are not forced to disclose information about the hedge fund’s holdings and performance. One drawback is that usually one must be prepared to invest $1 million or more.

Mutual Fund Reference Resources

Comment Icon0 Reference materials are shelved alphabetically by call number in the Reference Room. Ready Reference materials are held at the Reference Desk.

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  • Morningstar Mutual Funds READY REF HG4530 .M8 (Held at Reference Desk)
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    • Updates received regularly
    • Objective analysis of mutual funds and the mutual fund industry
    • Look your mutual fund up in the Index to find the page number for its report
    • Choose funds from Top Performers list
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  • Vault Career Guide to Hedge Funds REF HG4530 .D385 2007
    A breakdown of major hedge fund investment strategies. An inside look at major hedge fund departments, including research, portfolio management, investor relations and more. A primer on leveraging, short-selling, and other features that distinguish hedge funds from mutual funds and venture capital firms.
    >>More Information About This Book  

Business Databases: Mutual Fund Analysis

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  • BUSINESS SOURCE COMPLETE / OFF CAMPUS ACCESS
    ABOUT BSC
    / BASIC SEARCH HELP SHEET
    / BSC USER GUIDE
    Scholarly business database, providing bibliographic and full text content. BSC provides full text journals in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM (Production & Operations Management), accounting, finance and economics. Additional full text, nonjournal content includes financial data, books, monographs, major reference works, book digests, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry profiles, market research reports, product reviews, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses and more.

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    • Search specific mutual fund publications for information about mutual funds:
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      • At BSC opening screen, click on Publications on the blue toolbar at the top of the screen
      • Enter name of specific publication in Publications search box and click on Browse
      • Click on the title of the publication
      • To find specific issues, click on the years listed at the right and select the desired issue
      • To search all available issues of the specific publication, click on Search within this publication directly above list of years and enter terms in the search box(es)
      • Examples: Morningstar FundInvestor; Mutual Fund Market News; Fund Strategy; Morningstar Fund Family Reports for American Funds, Fidelity, & Vanguard; Morningstar GrowthInvestor; Morningstar Practical Finance
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    • Search entire database for articles about your mutual fund:
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      • At BSC opening screen, enter search terms and click on Search to obtain a list of relevant articles
      • Click on article title for citation information and article abstract
      • Click on HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text to retrieve full text of article
      • If no HTML or PDF link, click on Find It! to see if it is full text in another database
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  • VALUE LINE RESEARCH CENTER / OFF CAMPUS ACCESS
    VALUE LINE GUIDES
    / HOW TO USE VALUE LINE PAGES
    Value Line helps investors access the most accurate and independently created research information available, in any format they choose, and teaches them how to use it to meet their financial objectives.

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    • The Value Line Mutual Fund Survey:
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      • At Value Line opening screen, click on Mutual Fund Survey under Quick Index on left side of screen
      • Click on Lookup Fund
      • Enter ticker for mutual fund in Symbol box and click on Search
      • Select appropriate fund to access report

Business Databases: Exchange-Traded Fund Analysis

  • Comment Icon0
  • BUSINESS SOURCE COMPLETE / OFF CAMPUS ACCESS
    ABOUT BSC
    / BASIC SEARCH HELP SHEET
    / BSC USER GUIDE
    Scholarly business database, providing bibliographic and full text content. BSC provides full text journals in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM (Production & Operations Management), accounting, finance and economics. Additional full text, nonjournal content includes financial data, books, monographs, major reference works, book digests, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry profiles, market research reports, product reviews, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses and more.

    • Comment Icon0
    • Search specific mutual fund publications for information about exchange-traded funds:
      • Comment Icon0
      • At BSC opening screen, click on Publications on the blue toolbar at the top of the screen
      • Enter title of specific publication in Publications search box and click on Browse
      • Click on the title of the publication
      • To find specific issues, click on the years listed at the right and select the desired issue
      • To search all available issues of the specific publication, click on Search within this publication directly above list of years and enter terms in the search box(es)
      • Examples: Morningstar FundInvestor; Mutual Fund Market News; Fund Strategy; Morningstar Fund Family Reports for American Funds, Fidelity, & Vanguard; Morningstar GrowthInvestor; Morningstar Practical Finance
    • Search entire database for articles about your exchange-traded fund:
      • Comment Icon0
      • At BCS opening screen, enter search terms and click on Search to obtain a list of relevant articles
      • Click on article title for citation information and article abstract
      • Click on HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text to retrieve full text of article
      • If no HTML or PDF link, click on Find It! to see if it is full text in another database

Mutual Fund Resources on the Web

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  • amfi.com
    The Association of Mutual Fund Investors’ online mutual fund resource.
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  • BusinessWeek: Mutual Fund Scoreboard
    Interactive tool that’s updated each month to show how funds are performing. Scan the listings, or enter a fund name or ticker symbol to pull up a specific fund. Click on the fund’s name and you’ll get a pop-up with more information. Clicking on the headers will sort the scoreboard by the column’s criteria.
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  • CEFA: Closed-End Fund Association
    CEFA is the national trade association representing the closed-end fund industry. A not-for-profit association, CEFA is committed to educating investors about the many benefits of these unique investment products and to providing a resource for information about its members and their offerings.
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  • ETFConnect
    Comprehensive industry gateway to Closed-End Funds (CEFs), Index Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs). ETF Connect.com offers Daily Pricing, Comprehensive Fund Data, Fund Search Options, Access to Fund Sponsors and Industry Links and more.
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  • FundAdvice.com
    Help for people at all life stages with tax, retirement, estate, college and debt needs. Their educational approach provides the objective information needed to make intelligent money management decisions.
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  • FundAlarm
    A free, non-commercial Website. The purpose is to help you decide when it’s time to sell a fund, instead of when it’s time to buy.
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  • FundsTrader
    A service of Bollinger Capital Management, designed to provide investors with a quick and easy method of evaluating the past performance and potential appreciation of mutual funds. FundsTrader evaluates a universe of 2,074 funds in two dimensions: How they have done in the past and how they are expected to perform now.
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  • Hedge Fund Center
    Provides interested parties with direct access to relevant information. It will explain the theoretical, operational, and commercial issues related to hedge funds and hedge fund investing in coherent terms so members can develop an understanding of the intricacies of this industry. It will provide members with the tools necessary to make meaningful evaluations and well informed decisions about hedge funds.
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  • Mutual Fund Research Newsletter
    Free mutual fund research and advice. Precise, up-to-date recommendations for your funds. They continually show you how their past advice has done back to Jan 2000.
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  • Mutual Funds Advisor
    A free website offering information, advice and tips on mutual funds and mutual fund investing. It seeks to provide informative and accurate articles to give you the knowledge you need to become a successful mutual fund investor.
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  • Mutual Fund Investor’s Center
    An important resource for anyone who wants to use mutual funds to reach lifetime goals. Visitors can learn the basics of mutual fund investing or obtain more expanded information, data and commentary. The site serves as a clearinghouse for fund information, providing direct links to educational topics, worksheets, calculators and commentary on a variety of subjects provided by leading fund companies.
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  • Mutual Interest Data Service: Mutual Funds
    Established in late 1999 after its founder, King A. Kovacs, realized the need for mutual funds data that would give unique facts in making an investment decision.  This website embodies this objective and is an exclusive fact finder of top mutual funds that distribute large dividends of income/capital gains and maintain performance growth.  Every year, thousands of mutual funds are screened and analyzed; then a database is created. Within the database, the best 105 stock funds serving 21 investment categories are then selected.
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  • Value Line Mutual Funds
    Designed to help you learn more about Value Line’s family of no-load mutual funds and which ones are most suited to your investment needs.

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