Money Minute
Quick Tips
Choosing a Mutual Fund
Choosing a Mutual Fund

There are thousands of mutual funds available to the average investor. Although it’s nice to have options, having too many choices can become overwhelming. As you consider which mutual funds may fit your needs, keep these tips in mind.

When shopping for a mutual fund, be finicky. First, look a fund's long-term performance track record - you want a fund which that has fared well over a full market cycle. Also, investigate the fund's management history, keeping in mind that the fewer the changes in leadership, the better.

Expenses are important too. A sales charge, also known as a load, and other fund expenses can add up and hurt total returns.

Though past performance does not guarantee future results, researching a fund's performance history is an important consideration. Another method for measuring a mutual fund's success is to compare it to other funds with the same objective or to compare its long-term performance to the appropriate benchmark, also called an index.

But when in doubt, call in the professionals! Every mutual fund company has a team of experts ready to answer your questions and explain how their funds work. However, if you need extra personal attention and advice, a financial advisor may be the route for you.

Although the race to financial security is a long one, you don't have to run it alone.

To learn more about mutual fund fundamentals, visit the Mutual Fund Section of Investing Basics.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. © Ariel Investments, LLC. The mutual funds offered by Ariel Investment Trust are distributed by Ariel Distributors, LLC. Use of this website is subject to our Terms & Conditions of use. Each of the investment products, mutual funds or services referred to in this site may be offered only to persons in the United States. This web site should not be considered a solicitation or offering of any investment products, funds or services to investors outside the United States. Original illustrations © Omar Rayyan 2007.