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3 Important Facts to Know Before You Invest in Mutual Funds

3 important facts to know before you invest in mutual funds

Here are three facts that are the bare bone necessities to know before you start to invest in mutual funds. In this series, I will give you information little by little about mutual funds until I feel you have a great grasp on the topic, and can choose your own high quality funds.

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1. WHAT IS A MUTUAL FUND?

A mutual fund combines money from several investors to invest in different types of investments or investment companies. The investments could be stocks, bonds, money market instruments’ or other types of investments.

Each investor in the mutual fund hold a proportion of the investment in the way of shares. There are low-risk, mid-risk and high risk mutual fund companies, as well as low earning and high earning companies.

One mutual fund company is typically very diversified and can invest in as many as 400 companies or as few as 40 companies. Diversity is what takes much of the risk out of mutual funds.

Important facts to know about mutual funds

2. HOW DO I PURCHASE A MUTUAL FUND?

Stocks are purchased from stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, usually through a brokerage office or online broker. Mutual funds are baskets of stocks and can be purchased from a variety of places.

Mutual fund shares are purchased from the mutual fund company itself or from a broker. When you are educated in mutual funds, which I intend to do, you can easily purchase your own mutual funds online at any number of investment companies.

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3. WHO OVERSEES THE MUTUAL FUNDS I INVEST IN?

Registered and licensed Investment Advisers, in a team or individually, manage investment portfolios of mutual funds.

Investors have an advantage, by using the expertise and experience of the advisers.

You can go to sec.gov or finra.org to verify that your adviser is a registered investment adviser.

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3 Big Problems When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit

When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit it is Tricky
3 Big Problems When You Buy Real Estate to Flip For Profit

Flipping real estate for profit seminars, advertising, and marketing is going on in my town and all over the internet and television. Since I have experience in long term real estate investing and I have friends who have tried to flip for profit, I would like to share some of our experiences.

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I, and some of my friend’s own properties out of state and we constantly get letters from people who want to buy our properties? We get letters, cards, brochures and everything in between.

Some of the letters are almost begging us to sell our property to them. Some claim they have all-cash, and others claim they are immediately qualified to buy. Here are many of the problems flippers have with those properties, so you may want to think hard before you answer advertisements to attend a flipping seminar who makes their money up-selling tapes and books after the seminar, that don’t work.

  1. It is Difficult to Find Properties That Aren’t Ready for the Bulldozer

Many of the so-called flippers are going to public records to find owners who live out of state and therefore, their reasoning is that they should want to sell. Many of the properties have family members who are taking care of the properties, living in them, and paying the rent. When you buy real estate to flip the most difficult task is finding a property that is not near condemnation.

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The fact that dozens of the flippers are going to public records to find sellers tells me the difficulty they are having finding quality properties to buy and flip. Many of the properties that are readily available are in bad shape, so after renovation there would be no profit. Properties that are held by realtors are already priced for the current market. Those that are auctioned off in foreclosure are usually bid up too high for a profit after renovation.

The surprises, especially to the amateur flippers are enormous. The missed surprises include hidden floor dry rot, floor and wall dry rot, rotten plumbing pipes buried under a slab, large holes in the roof, outside gas leaks, damaged foundation, bad electrical junction boxes in the wall or under the house, clogged main drain, asbestos in the outside shingles or inside in the walls, and mold. These are real life problems I have seen others have when buying a fixer or home to flip.

Any of these problems can take anywhere from $2000 to $20,000 or more to fix, each.

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  1. Flippers Real Estate Agents Offers That Generate Profits For the Flipper

Flippers contact homeowners and write ridiculously low offers, so they have money to flip for profit after fixing up the property. Most of the offers are rejected, even if the home is in bad shape. If the home is in an area with properties that sell quickly and the resale is high, they constantly beg for offers that are below appraisal. This process is easier in areas were homes have low sales value or with homes that stay on the market for a long time.

These homes tend to have more hidden disasters since they have stayed on the market longer. What happens is that the flipper, out of desperation takes the best offer they can get and after finding they bought a home in bad shape they will hide existing problems or get a false appraisal that is too large.

  1. Most Flippers are Forced to Get Financing from Investors

To buy real estate to flip you must have financing. Banks don’t want to do business with most of the flippers who have no assets, little experience, and may not sell the home before they run out of money for renovation, upkeep after renovation, and mortgage payments until the property sells.

After the flipper finds that the home was overpriced for profit and they find the house is in much worse shape than originally thought, then they find that after sharing their profit with their investor or pricing the home for the market, they don’t have much left after sales, sometimes nothing. Then, this is where the flip begins to turn into a flop. Because of these problems, most flips are not profitable, and many flippers constantly find themselves in deep financial trouble.

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Before you think you can buy real estate to flip you should have some command of  both real estate buying and selling, the construction process, and the tax consequences when you have to pay short term taxes. Read the FHA rules to flipping properties.

There are many more facts to consider that you will have the privilege to read when my new eBook about Real Estate Investing comes out.

You can get my sample of “The Ultimate Guide to A Great Money WorkOver” and 7 other eBooks along with expert help with my course.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Why Women Need to Understand Investing Now

Investing Money for Beginners

Why women need to understand investing now

There Are No Guarantees if Women Do Not Understand Investing

Women need to understand investing now because there are no guarantees you will stay married or even get married, women need to know how to take care of their finances. This is the start of investing money for beginners. This includes learning stock mutual funds, bond mutual funds and simple index funds. With these three types of funds you can buy stocks inexpensively, with low risk and learn to read charts that are not difficult. 

But understanding investing now means you need to understand sane savings (my mantra), mega-money management (because everything is ultra-expensive), and investing (because you need to stay ahead of inflation to keep your money growing).

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Far too many women are still taught to be financially dependent, even when you work, and many don’t get involved in family finances since you feel prince charming will be there to protect them forever. It is important to work together on finances, and staying out of family finances could have dire consequences foreither spouse. Stay involved in your family finances.

Divorce or Death Effecting Your Finances

Because you have at least a 50% chance of divorce and even greater chance of being separated from your spouse, it is imperative that you understand all the nuances of money, including investing. I focus on mutual funds because, 1. That is where my long term expertise and success is, 2. They are easy to understand once you put some “peddle to the metal” and study some of what I call, “mutual fund research”. 

Understand investing now

If you are not dependent on your husband to take care of all finances during your marriage, or an adviser if you are single, then you will know what to at any time, including with an illness, accident, or death. Dependency is not a good thing.

Many women fall victim to con artist who prey on women with money and no financial skills, because they are not familiar with the ease at which others prey on those without financial experience. Understanding stocks, bonds and mutual funds will create a knowledge bubble around you, that will keep you safe.

There are literally millions who have lost millions due to being trusting and naive. Don’t make yourself a victim by keeping your financial knowledge and skills very low. The potential for divorce or death from a spouse are a major reason why women need to understand investing.

A word about home loans for successful home buying for women

Protect Yourself Now and in The Future and Protect Your Money

There are many women who never write a check or pay a bill, after getting married. That is hard to imagine, but it exists. Writing checks and paying bills are a powerful way to keep yourself aware of family finances and the limitations of money.

Then you monitor investments in mutual funds, or other investments for savings, college, or retirement, this gives you another layer of awareness and will help protect your finances now and in the future. I speak to beginning investors all the time who can’t analyze the simplest investments. This is not acceptable. Teaching investing for beginngers is something I am passionate about so you can protect specialty finances. 

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Therefore, women need to understand investing. Social security is meant to be a supplement, that is why the payout is very low for most people. Your 401k can be overrun with success if you know investing money for beginners. If you have a pension or get your husbands pension from death or divorce you can still benefit from know how it invest money. 

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When you understand investing, the chances are good you will also understand how to grow your investment retirement account and hold on to the accounts build by you or your spouse. Understanding why women need to understand investing will create an entire class of new and capable investors, who can also teach their daughters.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Learn to Invest, Stocks to Mutual Funds

Your 3 Investment Stops To Start Investing

Use these 3 investment stops and invest with the right knowledge

Don’t Let Negative Thinking Place You in Investment Stops, Start Investing Now

Here are 3 investment stops to start investing money for retirement, savings, vacation or just a rainy day. It is essential that if you want to retire ever.

I don’t have enough money to invest.
I have to pay off my bills first.
I have money to invest, but I am afraid.

What is stopping you from starting to invest? Three of the most common investment stops are listed above. What can you do to start yourself to invest? There are many inexpensive ways to start investing. You can open an investment account with a broker that sells shares or partial shares of stocks. You can open a mutual fund account with a mutual fund company that will allow you to start with a small amount of money. And finally, you will have to shed some old baggage about investing, for example, “I will start investing when I get my bills paid off,” or “I am afraid to invest.”

Start with the right investment priorities:
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saving money, and student loans.

You don’t have to have a lot of money to start an investment account. There are mutual fund companies that will allow you to start an investment account for as little as one hundred dollars, and add as little as twenty-five dollars a month . The monthly additions work to significantly increase your account due to dollar cost averaging.  Low-cost, low-risk mutual funds have a tendency to be less complicated than stocks. But, low-risk dividend paying stocks of stable companies are a good research vehicle as well as mutual funds.

There are companies that will allow you to invest in a few shares or partial shares of stock starting with as little as eight dollars a month, and adding eight dollars a month to your account to purchase these shares or partial shares of stocks .

I have to pay off my bills before I start to invest. It is a good idea to have your debt well under control before you start to invest. The interest rates on outstanding debts sometimes are in excess of the interest rates on investments, coupled with compounded interest, debt payments can be excessive. There is an easy way to invest after you have your bills under control, that is to treat your investment as “just another bill,” before you know it, you will have a significant investment account.

Do you have plenty of money to invest, but you are simply afraid? I think the term for that is, “fear of the unknown.” That is probably the easiest investment stop we address in this article. Study the investment tutorials in my eBook and course; Step by Step Car Buying Tips for Women, that can save your financial life. You can download it instantly, and the eBook is practically free, the price is so low.  Then, you can go on to understand high level home buying tips, so you buy the best house for the best prices.  Then move on to my free discovery lesson and enjoy the preponderance of money information there.

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Personal Finances Should be Personal

Your Personal Finances

I was speaking at a women’s meeting about personal finances and a young woman, about 35 came up to me and ask me what are “personal finances”. I was really shocked since being there meant that she was in some way affiliated with a business she owned.

She looked me in the eye with a very serious face. I pointed to her and said “your – personal – finances”. Your finances that you take very personal. You monitor, you manage, and constantly improve your finances yourself, even if you have help. It’s crucial that you understand your own finances.

It seems like it would be common sense to understand the term personal finance. But, the definition seems to elude some of the most intelligent, and highly successful people. The proof is in the finances of many.

The workplace embezzlements of high-level employees, the bankruptcies of high-income people, the general personal finance mismanagement of people which becomes evident when they lose a job and lose all or most of their assets due to mismanagement.

I CAN SUM IT UP IN 3 WAYS:

  • RANDOM SPENDING

Take your finances serious – don’t randomly spend money. This is the most important aspect of personal finances. Some folks act as though the money they have in their checking account belongs to someone else, so they spend it until it is gone or before all bills are paid.

Then they go to the credit cards, when those run out, they go to others to borrow money and make up the difference. Then they lose relationships, which is can be more serious than wasting their money.

  • TRACKING YOUR SPENDING

Keeping track of your spending is getting very personal with your finances. Most people don’t understand how fast money goes when it is spent randomly. You can see this also when you charge on credit cards the balance escalates rapidly.

A major aspect of getting personal finance maintenance is paying cash as much as possible unless you use a credit card for points and you have the money and discipline to pay off the balance once a month. With frequent credit card use, many tend to lose track of spending, and their finances become very impersonal.

  • BUDGETING YOUR MONEY

I talk to people all the time who tell me they thought they were budgeting until they read many of my budgeting articles and the advice I give on budgeting. My program includes guerrilla budgeting.

With all the distractions, we have – advertising – expensive products – overpriced cars and high maintenance homes- getting personal with your finances means that you must create a guerrilla budget to survive no matter what your income.

Some folks think all they must do is make more money until they find out they spend more for things and get more expenses, so they are either in the same place or worse financially, as income goes up. They realize the problem is they did not get personal with their finances.

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The Reason Your Personal Finances Should Be Personal

3 factors that make mutual funds special

3 factors that make mutual funds special

  1. Longevity

Mutual funds last and last and increase in value over time.

Many mutual funds display tried and true value. They have been around for decades and some of them are managed by people who have their own money in the fund. This is a plus because, “who wants to lose their own money”?

  1. The Research Reports

You know what you are getting with mutual funds because research reports are abundant and easy to read and clear.

There are many research reports where you can see how the mutual fund you are interested in has performed in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and for life. To me, this is considered a wealth of information, and no one should ever purchase a mutual fund without reading the research reports for the fund. I can show you how to read these reports.

  1. Ease of Understanding

They are easy to understand with just a little bit of effort.

If you are willing to do a little work and learn where to get mutual fund reports and how to read the mutual fund reports, you will greatly increase your chances of making money on your mutual funds. Will this happen quickly, in a few cases yes, but in most cases like any other “investment” it takes time to make money. But, within that time you will make money if you put the effort into it.

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15 Golden Rules of Personal Finance Security

15 Golden Rules of Personal Finance SecuritySecure Your Personal Finance Security With These 15 Golden Rules

 1. Your employment provides your wealth

Your personal finance security starts with getting the best job possible, and keeping that job is your primary path to wealth. Consistent paychecks over time will fund your savings, retirement, emergency and college accounts. Taking courses and jobs that train you to move upward are the best ways to consistently increase your salary over time.

2. Don’t assume you can replace your wealth

If you understand that every single dollar you accumulate, whether it is from employment, inheritance or any other windfall is precious and you manage it as though it were your last. People who don’t understand this, acquire money, sometimes large sums and spend it foolishly because they feel there is always more where that came from. This is not necessarily true, many don’t find this out until they want to retire and realize spending retirement money before they retire or simply not saving enough, is a major source of elderly poverty.

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3. Create a bulletproof portfolio for security

Learn the basics of investing. Here you can choose low cost, low risk investments for your retirement and other investments. There are many investments that are easy to understand and easy to monitor. Monitoring your own investments gives you peace of mind.

4. Recognize the difference between investing and speculating

Investing is placing money in a vehicle that will grow over time — provided you choose wisely. Speculating is more like gambling, or placing money in investments you don’t have a clear understanding of, and hoping they make money over time.

5. Speculate with money you can afford to lose

When you go to a gambling casino, you would not gamble with money you need, like your house note. The same is true with speculating, since it has a tendency to be high risk investing, make sure it is small enough so a loss will not impact your finances.

6. Don’t depend on any one investment, institution, or person for your financial advice

The more you research, the more you learn, the least likely you are to be cheated by an adviser or institution. Remember Bernie Madoff, when questioned, all of his clients said they used him because they trusted him. They did not do their homework on his company and hence, he stole their personal finance security. A check at finra.org, would have shown he was not a registered investment adviser.

7. No one can predict the future

If anyone tells you that an investment will go up with 100% certainty be very suspicious of this person. If anyone gives you a definite percentage the investment will go up, be suspicious. Many investments have past histories, but even those cannot tell you with certainty what the future will be.

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8. Whenever you are in doubt about a course of action, error on the side of caution

After doing a lot of research and you still have doubts about a person or institution to invest with, you may want to consider other options.

9. Don’t ever do anything you do not understand

Some brokers will tell you, I know you don’t understand this investment, but just take my word, it will work out. If you don’t clearly understand what they are clearly selling you, wait until you can. You cannot buy personal finance security, but you can use your common sense to keep yourself safe.

10. No one can move you in out of investments consistently with precise and profitable timing

Moving in and out of investments is expensive. Every time you buy and sell an investment, there are cost. Anywhere from home sales to buying stocks or mutual funds. Some cost are far greater than the gains on the product. Investment growth happens over time, the longer you wait the more you make, and the less cost you will pay, due to long term capital gains.

11. Use leverage with caution

When someone goes completely broke, sometimes it is because they used borrowed money. The more money you have to borrow to invest, the more likely you are to get higher interest rates or low quality investment products. The lower your debt, the better chance you have to save money for investing.

12. Beware of tax-avoidance schemes

Every so many years companies come up with financial products that help you to avoid taxes. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so be cautious. Sometimes these products are disallowed years after they are put in place, and you will lose your deductions.

13. Enjoy yourself with a budget for pleasure

While it is important to save and invest for general purposes and retirement, it is also important to budget in fun. Fun as in vacation fun or weekend fun, of course within the confines of your budget.

14. Live within your means

My motto is, “Live Within Your Means, and Your Life Will Mean Something”. This will save you money, pain and heartache in the future. The more you place limits on spending within your budget, the better you will feel all around; financial, emotional and mental stability.  This is the summation of personal finance security.

15. Protecting your assets with insurance and estate planning is essential

After saving, investing, and having a fun vacation, it is absolutely necessary to protect all you work for or it can evaporate with one bad event. A car accident or home disaster can loose everything if you are not properly insured. Your estate plan will protect your loved ones.

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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An Excerpt From My Mutual Funds eBook

Introduction to Basic Investing   

My mutual funds ebook excerpt

Would you give your baby to a stranger and tell them, I will be back to pick up my baby in 21 years? Make sure you take good care of him or her. Your answer should be an emphatic “no”, if you care about yourself, your baby, or your lives.

The same should hold with your financial future. Your saving and retirement investments. If you want to be successful accumulating money for future use, either the near future or the far future. Just like your children, you must know who is managing your money and what they are doing with your money, what the risk are and what the investment costs; rather stocks, mutual funds, CD’s, money markets, real estate or annuities. It all cost money to invest money, in terms of fees.

Online Investment Portals

Because of online investment portals, it is relatively easy to research and learn about investing well enough to analyze investments that your broker recommends. You can also monitor your investments at online portals and study the latest information about investments and investing.

Why I Wrote My Mutual Funds eBook

Some folks think you have to be rich to invest money. That is not true, and why I wrote the mutual funds eBook. You have choices of investing in your employee retirement account. You can save for college in an investment account, you can save for an individual retirement account, and save for general savings. All of these require basic investing knowledge by first reading this eBook and then going online to study investing in the online portals, then you can set up an account and monitor the progress.

I started investing a long time ago. First, I used brokers at brick and mortar companies. But, quickly became discouraged because I didn’t know what they were doing with my money. I worked hard for that money. I never had the fear that I was involved in a Madoff type investment firm (as you recall Bernie Madoff stole billions of dollars from investors in an illegal firm), because I used major investment companies.

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But, you can still lose your principle with major firms, if you use investment advisers who invest your money in high risk investments that go under. First of all, there are low risk investments that pay good returns over time, and very low cost investments, where the cost don’t eat up your returns.

After I used brick and mortar companies that didn’t tell me what they were doing with money, I started using online companies. I took classes, I read quality investment magazines, I read books, and then I talked to online investment advisers associated with my online investment company.

Investment Research

I also read a lot of investment research in my online investment portal. Knowing my investments, monitoring my investments, and getting top notch advice when I need it made all the difference in my bottom line.

By the time you finish this eBook you should know the difference between a high risk and low risk investment, a bond, mutual fund and money market account, and money market investment, and a stock. By the way, most investments and most areas of life are based on stocks. Stocks are the basic investment. Pretty much everything you use is derived from a company that invests your goods or services in “stocks”.

Mutual Funds Origin

Mutual funds are based on stocks, annuities are based on stocks. The other vehicle is bonds, the opposite of stocks. With both stocks and bonds — you have high risk and low risk in each category and you have high cost and low cost in each category.

There are other types of investments as well. The main caveat I always used is, “I don’t ever invest in anything I don’t fully understand”. I don’t care what ANYONE says, “if I can’t research it and understand it, I don’t invest in it”. I also make sure that any company I use is a registered investment company with a verifiable good reputation.

My Primary Investments

My primary investments are in mutual funds. They are especially good for beginners and busy people since they are professionally managed, you can find low risk funds, and low cost funds to invest in.

Do you want to be a vulnerable and confused person? or a Knowledgeable, happy and self-assured investor? You can start with my complete, easy to read and understand mutual funds eBook. Contact me with questions when you are done. Learn investing; From Stocks to Mutual Funds in 47 Ways.
Since mutual funds consist of a basket of stocks, I start the conversation with beginner stock knowledge.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Investor, & Money Strategist

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3 Reasons I teach Women to Invest in Mutual Funds

3 Reasons I teach women to invest in mutual funds

1.  I teach women how to invest in mutual funds because women frequently do not have knowledge of Investments

Investing and particularly how to invest in mutual funds, are generally not taught in grammar school or college. When investing is taught by parents or schools, boys are usually the target for investing education since they are the ones they feel will be the family wage earners.

Unfortunately, women are not encouraged to learn investing, instead they are taught the mantra, “don’t bother your pretty little head attitude”. I had a male vendor visiting my office noticing investing bulletins on my desk and ask me, “how did you learn about investing”.

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I told him, the same way men do. Then, he says “No, I mean, really how did YOU learn”. I ignored him since I knew that he was referring to the male stereotype of investing. I did not feel that was an appropriate question.

Some women are partly to blame because they have the “Prince Charming Syndrome”. Even though women have made many advances in education, some women and their Dads are convinced that they don’t have to bother their “pretty little heads”. 

The theory is that Prince Charming is bound to come into their lives, even though it usually doesn’t work that way.

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  1.  Women Usually Live Longer Than Men

According to multiple news sources, women make less than men generally and that makes it even more essential to concentrate on understanding investments you can choose for your retirement. 401k accounts are made of mutual funds directly or in annuities that contain many mutual funds.

Either way, the more you know about mutual funds, the better your 401k will be since you can choose quality mutual funds in your account.

Money is not a toy, it is a tool

We all know that women usually live longer than men. This means that if you inherit your husbands’ investment account you can manage it with impunity, you don’t have to rely on an outside person. This is especially important since elderly people are frequently the target of unscrupulous investment advisors.

Remember Bernie Madoff, there are many mini-Madoff’s, as I call them, known as lower-level investment scammers. This is a critical reason I teach women to invest in mutual funds.

  1. Women Usually Invest in Simple Low-Profit Investments

Because women don’t usually get investment education, they don’t have quality investment knowledge. The consequence is that they frequently choose low interest simple investments like CD’s and Money Market accounts losing out on years of high interest quality accounts like mutual funds, blue chip stocks, and bonds.

The difference in your balance can amount to hundreds of thousands to millions in losses.

Understanding mutual funds is not difficult, when you get the right information.

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Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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3 Common Types of Mutual Funds

 

Types of Mutual Funds

There are many types of mutual funds within these three types of mutual funds. Here are the 3 different major types of mutual funds. The risks of mutual fund investing runs the gamut. There are very low risk to very high and many levels in between, within one type of fund.

Do your research thoroughly before investing, use my easy to understand ebook and course for research. Your understanding of   mutual funds will skyrocket.

My experience with mutual funds is long and wide. The information I share with you reflects my decades long experience. 

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1. Allocation Mutual Funds
Risk: Low to Medium

Allocation mutual funds are a combination of stock and fixed income securities and are subject to the risks involved in each of these security types.

Stock markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. In general, the bond market is volatile with fixed income securities that carry the interest rate, inflation, price volatility and other risks. Another way to invest in mutual funds is in bond mutual funds.

types of mutual funds

2. Alternative Mutual Funds
Risk: From Low Risk to High

The mutual fund may invest in securities that may have a leveraging effect (such as derivative and forward-settling securities). This may increase market exposure, magnify investment risks, and cause losses to be realized more quickly.

3. Money Market Mutual Funds
Risk: Very Low

A money market mutual fund is a type of fixed income mutual fund that invests in debt securities. They are characterized by their short maturities and minimal credit risk. You could lose money by investing in a money market fund, but the chances are nominal.

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An investment in a money market fund (different from a money market saving account), is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Before investing in mutual funds always read a money market fund’s prospectus for policies specific to that fund.

slay your finances, learn common types of mutual funds

There are many types of mutual funds which I cover in my full Fantastic Finances Course. 

3 Common Types of Mutual Funds

Learn to Invest: From Stocks to Mutual Funds in 47 Ways Will Clarify Mutual Funds for You.

Learn to Invest, Stocks to Mutual Funds

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