Mutual funds are investment vehicles that pool money from different investors to buy assets. The number of these instruments grew exponentially from the 80’s till the current figure of more than 7.500 (only in the US).
Such number includes a great variety of funds, if we take into account different classifications. If we consider how the fund is managed, we have two main groups:
- Active management: typical mutual funds have asset managers behind who are buying, selling and organising the investment to get the expected goals.
- Passive management: these funds are linked to a specific index or asset without any daily change, just with a rebalance every certain period. ETF are situated in this group, as we wrote in an older post.
If we consider the asset in which the fund invests, the classification is as follows:
- Money market: this kind of funds invest in short-term fixed income assets, but the performance is not very high
- Bonds: they invest in corporate or government debt. This debt can have a different maturity (short or long term). This instrument is usual for conservative investors, but they also have risks. Funds can invest in European or American debt, but also in emerging markets…
- Equities: they invest in listed companies and usually focus on a segment (micro, small, mid or large cap, meaning market capitalisation).
- Hybrid: this group invest in mixed assets (bonds and equities) in different proportions depending the chosen risks.
There are some other classifications, depending if the fund accept that the individual investor can sell the fund shares back to the mutual fund or not, or depending the company profile established by the managers (growth or value, a even not clear division for them). However, the more clear classifications are the both described above.
Who manages the funds? There are many companies linked to banks and independent. The ranking reveals that the independent ones lead this business.
T-Advisor, as a service for investors, has access to a large list of funds from the main companies, so that our users can choose the best product for their goals.