Investing in a mutual fund is like taking a packaged vacation. You decide where you want to go, and in return for a fee, the travel company arranges to take you and everyone else who signed up to the destination of your mutual choice. You have your privacy, and you may or may not know anyone else in the tour group. In fact, the only thing you may have in common with anyone else on the trip is that you want to go to the same place.
The benefits of going on a packaged vacation are that you don't have the stress and worry of getting there. It's all arranged. All you have to do is decide where you want to go.
The travel company has people who are trained and have contracts to get you to your destination safely. It's up to them to negotiate the details, give good service and respond to any needs you may have while you're in their care.
It's the same with mutual funds. You choose a fund that's headed in a specific direction, and the fund company charges you a fee to take you there. Other investors in the fund have the same destination, but you may not know who they are, and their money and goals are totally independent of yours.
It's the fund company's job to research, analyse, and choose the investments that will take you where you want to go. It's also the fund company's job to make sure your account is accurate and up to date, and that you're kept aware of how your investment is performing.
Now you may be thinking that you don't like "packaged deals" and would rather explore or set up your own vacation - and investment - plans. In both cases, there's a sense of adventure associated with "doing it yourself." But if you don't know what you're doing, you can make mistake - and mistakes can be costly, especially when your hard-earned money is at stake. So you should consider taking advantage of package deals and guides before you head out on your own.
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Asset management can consume a considerable amount of time and energy. Today's complex financial marketplace and changing tax laws can make it even more difficult to keep up with the changes and how they affect you.
Because of these implications, it is highly advisable to seek a qualified professional to help you understand all the complexities involved.
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