Mutual funds are a great start for small-time investors. After much thought, you’ve finally decided to invest in a mutual fund.
Here are some tips and tricks to do before you play and while you’re in the game:
Companies or agencies
Before buying, you can call fund companies directly to inquire and they’ll automatically provide an agent for you. Or, you can contact brokers, banks, financial planners or insurance agents about your interest.
Remember to search and ask around for good companies and agencies. It’s better if you have a mutual friend with any of these entities. This establishes trust between you and the agent.
Search and make some calls. With a little patience, you’ll find the company or agency that works for you.
Do your research
Don’t rely on your agent to explain everything to you. You might get lost in the jargon, for one thing. It’s better if you do some homework and background research on your own before you talk to your agent.
Learn about mutual funds, how they work, what the advantages are and all possible problems. Search for the company you’ll be investing in. Look for consumer reviews.
All the information you need are posted there already in the World Wide Web. Make a list of all the questions and clarifications you need or encountered with your search. This would make your talk with the agent more meaningful and concise.
Be sure of your capabilities
One good thing about mutual funds is that they made investments that required huge capitals now accessible to newbie in the money market. But, make sure you are completely capable of maintaining your investment effort-wise and money-wise.
Discuss this with your accountant, if you have one, or with your agent. It’s important that you don’t place everything you have in one plate.
Know the risks
Discuss this thoroughly with your agent. Mutual funds experience more fluctuations that bonds and Treasury bills. Plus, the US government does not issue guarantees for them. Be aware of the all the risks. Always have a contingency plan.
If you want to learn more about the risks of mutual funds, Investopedia has a very informative article on the analyzing mutual fund risk. You can use this to consider your options and in creating your Plan B.
Keep in touch with your agent
There’s reason to trust the expert fund manager, but keep an ear and an eye out as well for news and updates. Be involved in every fluctuation, and keep yourself updated with the latest trends and news.
This way, you’ll learn more about the market. At the same time, you will be able to work hands-on with your investment.
Keep on Learning
Just because you’ve done your research doesn’t mean you’re going to stop there. Don’t get too complacent when things are going smoothly.
Marketwatch.com has a short article on the major pitfalls you may encounter in dealing with mutual funds. Articles like these are the ones you must constantly read.
Mutual funds are a great way to start for first-time investors. They minimize risks of losses, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t lose money. It is, however, a better option that leaving your money stagnant in a bank with fixed interest. Just don’t bite off more than you can chew. And always have a fallback.