The Beginner’s Guide to Mutual Funds

Written by Jimmy Atkinson and Andy Hagans. Published November 17, 2015.

New to mutual funds? Need to beef up your knowledge? The Beginner’s Guide to Mutual Funds will help you devise a personalized investment strategy using mutual funds.

You can get a free PDF version of this report, The Beginner’s Guide to Mutual Funds: Download it here.

The guide is 100% free, and it’s easy to read. There’s no complicated investing jargon; we promise. :-)

Let’s Get Started!

Chapter 1: Mutual Funds 101

Mutual funds aren’t actually all that complicated. This chapter answers the following questions:

  • What are mutual funds?
  • How do mutual funds work?
  • Why are mutual funds so popular?
  • What are the fees and costs of mutual funds?

Chapter 2: The Beginner’s Guide to Index Funds

Index funds are a special type of mutual fund, and many investors love them. In this chapter, you will learn:

  • What are index funds?
  • Why are index funds so popular?
  • Which is better, index funds or actively managed mutual funds?
  • What’s the difference between an index fund and an exchange traded fund (ETF)?

Chapter 3: How to Invest in Mutual Funds and Index Funds

Now we’re down to brass tacks. You’d like to invest in a mutual fund or index fund, so what’s the next step? This chapter explains the logistics of making a mutual fund investment:

  • How do I buy mutual fund shares?
  • Do I need a financial advisor to invest in mutual funds, or can I do this myself?
  • Should I invest using my 401(k) or IRA account, or should I start a new account?

Chapter 4: How to Build a Successful Fund Portfolio

Building a personalized investment portfolio using mutual funds can be as simple or complex as you want. We prefer the simple route. :-)

  • How can I beat the market?
  • What asset classes should I include in my portfolio?
  • Which portfolio model is best for me?
  • What are retirement target date funds, and are they right for me?
You can get a free PDF version of this report, The Beginner’s Guide to Mutual Funds: Download it here.

The above four chapters should help you get on your way to a successful fund investment strategy. Beyond this guide, you should check out the following highly recommended articles, Web tools, and books.

Articles and Tutorials for Mutual Fund Investors

Self-Directed Investing

  • Stop Deluding Yourself About Investing Expenses. The Wall Street Journal.
  • The Invisible and Brutal Cost of Using a Financial Advisor. The Motley Fool.
  • 10 Reasons Brokers Don’t Like Index Funds. PaulMerriman.com.

Portfolio Construction

  • Lazy portfolios. Bogleheads.
  • The Rick Ferri 60/40 Portfolio. A Wealth of Common Sense.
  • Bill Schultheis’ Coffeehouse Portfolio. The Coffeehouse Investor.

Tax-Advantaged Investing

  • Roth IRA vs. 401(k)? You May Not Have to Choose. The Simple Dollar.
  • Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA: A Guide for Wise Investors. Cash Cow Couple.

Picking the Best Mutual Funds

Websites and Communities for Fund Investors

  • Bogleheads
  • Bogleheads Wiki
  • Mutual Fund Observer
  • Morningstar
  • Investopedia
  • Investor.gov

Free Web Tools for Fund Investors

Recommended Books

  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  • The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle
  • The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore et al.

Continue to chapter 1 →

The Beginner’s Guide to Mutual Funds

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