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Saving With Mutual Funds Leads To Debt Relief

Having a strong financial plan with consistent savings as a lynchpin is a great way to reduce debt and build a strong financial platform. Whether you have a financial plan for the short or long term, savings is critical (once you're debt free, as we mention here) to prevent debt costs and maintain our way of life. But savings is no longer as easy as "throwing your money in a bank account" anymore. Now, investing has become important, as simply saving in low interest vehicles will ensure your retirement gets harshly affected by inflation. Mutual funds are a superb vehicle for the small investor, as they provide the diversification necessary to invest without high risk, and provide exposure to the stock market, by far the largest source of investment growth.

Mutual funds are simply actively managed funds which collect investment dollars from thousands (or sometimes millions, depending on the popularity of the fund) of investors in order to purchase stocks and bonds. Each fund is run by a manager who buys and sells stocks within the fund's holdings, with the goal of increasing the overall portfolio value, and thus the value the shareholder owns. When you invest in a mutual fund, you typically buy a share of that fund, and thus acquire voting privileges for that mutual fund proportionate to the number of shares you own.

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Mutual Funds - Economies Of Scale and Other Benefits

Mutual funds allow you, the individual investor, to get access to the stock market with small amounts of money while diversifying your holdings. Stocks have shown that historically they are superb investments and can generate investment gains of an average of 8% or more, which makes them a must for every investor. But buying an individual stock can be very expensive, and puts your money at high risk, a typical "all eggs in one basket scenario". Mutual funds are professionally managed funds which contain 25 or more stocks typically, and are engineered for high gains.

So Many Funds, So Little Time

The issue with mutual funds is that there are quite a large number of them. There are a variety of styles, investment philosophies and sector concentrated funds which will gladly take your money. Typically, they will use a "past performance" percentage which shows exactly how they performed over the previous, say five years. Another point you may want to look at is risk tolerance. Bond or balanced funds are typically low risk vehicles, and generally provide lower rewards, whereas small cap, growth and technology funds are typically higher risk, with the potential of higher rewards.

Follow The Market

Index funds allow you to effectively match the gains provided by the stock indexes like the Dow Jones 30, S&P 500 and Russell 2000, as just a few examples. This is typically a low-fee fund which purchases a portfolio of stocks included in the index in similar weightings as the index itself. In more than 80% of cases, index funds actually beat the returns of actively managed mutual funds when you look at overall return rates including fees. Truly the simplest form of mutual fund investing, they give you a well diversified opportunity to gain from the performance of stocks.

Mutual funds are superb places for the individual investor to put his or her money. Start investing in them now and see how compound interest can ensure you will be debt free in retirement.

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