Sunday, February 19, 2012

Investing Money - Where to Invest If Clueless and Cautious

Jack and Mike were at a party in 2011 and the chatter was about investing money and where to invest it. Jack whined about interest rates, and Mike agreed that investing money in the bank was a lost cause. Assuming they both preferred relatively safe investments, a stranger overhearing this suggested they invest in safe mutual funds.

Investing money in mutual funds was on Mike's list of where not to invest because he had lost a bundle in stock funds during the financial crisis. Jack wasn't too fond of funds either, since his safe mutual funds (money market funds) were paying MUCH less than 1% in interest. Both felt clueless and uncomfortable as the stranger rattled on about a type of fund. According to mister know-it-all, you could invest in a relatively low risk fund, earn higher returns than at the bank... and just relax.

As they walked away from their new acquaintance Mike suggested that Jack ask his brother Jim (who knew about this stuff) what the devil the guy was talking about. Jim, as usual, had an answer. Can you invest in one single relatively safe fund in 2011 and have exposure to stocks, bonds and safe investments all in one package with relatively low risk at relatively low cost? Can investing money in 2011 and into the future be that simple? Yes it can, in a NO-LOAD balanced fund called a Retirement Income Fund.

Here's how investing money in these balanced funds works. Let's say you invest $10,000 in a retirement income fund with a major no-load fund company like Vanguard or Fidelity, the two largest fund companies in America. It should cost you nothing for sales charges when you invest and about $100 a year (or less) for management and other fund expenses. This money will automatically be deducted from the value of the fund shares you own. No-load means no sales charges when you invest or cash in shares.

Now, where is your money actually invested in these relatively safe mutual funds? About 20% will be invested in a variety of stock funds managed by the fund company. This provides you with some growth potential plus dividend income. The rest of your money will be split about evenly between bond funds and safer short-term funds managed by the company, both of which earn interest. The dividend and interest income earned are normally automatically reinvested for you - to buy more shares in the retirement income fund that you own shares in.

Investing money always involves risk and the value of your shares will fluctuate. The good news is that when you invest in a retirement income fund risk is relatively low, and you will own a small part of a large well diversified portfolio. No one knows what the future will bring in 2011, 2012 and beyond. Broad diversification in relatively safe mutual funds makes good sense for most people.

If you feel clueless and are safety conscious like Jack and Mike, consider investing money in a retirement income fund. Let the professional money managers do the managing while you relax in 2011 and beyond. You won't get ahead with all of your money in the bank, so start investing with relatively safe mutual funds.

1 comment:

  1. People mostly invest their money on business, cars, property and stocks. This are probably among the most common investment options that people choose to invest their money with. cpa continuing education california