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Mutual Funds - Investment Basics

A mutual fund is a single portfolio of stocks, bonds, and/or cash managed by an investment company on behalf of many investors. Because fund managers invest their portfolios into many different stocks, bonds and/or cash equivalents, buying mutual funds are a great way to become instantly diversified.

A lot of mutual fund companies are making it easier for investors to start investing with as little as $50 a month. I've compiled a list of mutual fund companies, load and no-load, with these low minimums to help get your dream, security and retirement baskets started.

No-Load Companies with $50 Minimums:

T. Rowe Price
(800) 638-5660
www.troweprice.com

Strong Funds
(800) 368-1030
www.estrong.com

Scudder Investments
(800) 728-3337
www.scudder.com

Invesco
(800) 525-8085
www.invesco.com

Dreyfus Founders Funds
(800) 525-2440
www.dreyfus.com

Fremont Funds
(800) 548-4539
www.fremontfunds.com

Load Companies with $50 (or less) Minimum:

Van Kampen
(800) 341-2911
www.vankampen.com
Automatic investment minimum: $25/month

Putnam Investments
(800) 225-1581
(call to double check)
www.putnaminvestments.com
Automatic investment minimum: $25/month

FranklinTempleton Investments
(800) 632-2301
www.franklintempleton.com
Automatic investment minimum: $50/month

Note: not all funds are eligible, so best to check with customer service.

American Funds
(800) 421-0180
www.americanfunds.com
Automatic investment minimum: $50/month

AIM Funds
(800) 959-4246
www.aimfunds.com
Automatic investment minimum: $50/month

Index Funds

Here's a list of some popular index funds. Remember, they all represent investments in the stock market-meaning there is risk involved. So read their prospectus before your invest any money.

S&P 500 Index Funds

Vanguard Index 500 (symbol: VFINX)
800-662-7447
www.vanguard.com
Minimum investment: $3000 for regular accounts/$1000 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Must first meet minimum requirements then it is $100 minimum for additional investment.

Dreyfus S&P 500 (symbol: DSPIX)
800-782-662
www.dreyfus.com
Minimum investment: $2500 for regular accounts/$750 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Minimum investment requirement is waived, can be started with $100 investment.

 
Index Funds (cont.)

American Century
(800) 345-2021
www.americancentury.com Investment: $2500 for most accounts.

Transamerica Premier Index (symbol: TPIX)
800-892-7587
www.transamericafunds.com
Minimum investment: $2500 for regular accounts/$250 for IRAs.
Systematic investment: Minimum investment requirement is waived, can be started with $50 investment.

Schwab S&P 500 Fund (symbol: SWPIX)
800-225-8570
www.schwab.com
Minimum investment: $2500 for regular accounts/$1000 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Must first meet minimum requirement then it is $100 minimum for additional investments.
Wilshire 5000 Index Funds

Vanguard Total Stock Market (symbol: VTSMX)
800-662-7447
www.vanguard.com
Minimum investment: $3000 for regular accounts/$1000 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Must first meet minimum requirement then it is $100 minimum for additional investments.

T. Rowe Price Total Equity (symbol: POMIX)
800-225-5132
www.troweprice.com
Minimum investment: $2500 for regular accounts/$1000 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Minimum investment requirement is waived, can be started with $50 investment.

Morgan Stanley Total Market Index Fund (symbol: TMIBX)
877-937-6739
www.msdwadvice.com
Minimum investment: $1000 for regular accounts/$1000 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Minimum investment requirement is waived, can be started with $100 investment.

Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund (symbol: SWTIX)
800-225-8570
www.schwab.com
Minimum investment: $2500 for regular accounts/$1000 for IRAs
Systematic investment: Must first meet minimum requirement then it is $100 minimum for additional investments.

Need to find info on your mutual fund, or looking to buy. Here's some of the best sites online for all on your mutual fund help.

Fund Index Yahoo
http://biz.yahoo.com/i/

Mutual Fund Families - Yahoo
http://biz.yahoo.com/p/fam/a-b.php

Brill's Mutual Funds Interactive
http://www.fundsinteractive.com/

Smartmoney - Funds
http://www.smartmoney.com/funds/

Quicken - Mutual Fund info
http://www.quicken.com/investments/mutualfunds/

Morningstar
http://www.morningstar.com/

Yahoo's Mutual Fund Center
http://finance.yahoo.com/f0?u

Superstar Investor's Fund Links
http://www.superstarinvestor.com/fundlinks.php



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