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The mutual fund prospectus is a legal document that contains valuable information for the investor. Now, it's easy to make fun of a prospectus. It's boring, and, yes, reading one is a cure for insomnia. But the prospectus is worth a close look, and a lot of investment mistakes could be avoided with a careful reading of the whole text. But several sections should be highlighted. First is the expense table. All mutual funds have to lay out in a standardized format all the fees associated with owning a fund. If there is a fee to buy and sell a fund, it's there, plus all the ongoing charges imposed by the fund. Thoroughly scrutinize the financial highlights. It's a lot of numbers, but these figures give a reading on how the fund has done over time and in different markets. The investment objective section is critical. Is this the kind of fund you are looking for? Is it run, say, to generate dividend income, or is the money manager striving for long-term capital appreciation in high-tech stocks? The management page tells you whether the fund is run by an individual or by a committee.Christopher Farrell, Economics Editor, Minnesota Public Radio, heard nationally on Sound Money®
A prospectus is a formal written offer to sell stock to the public. It is created by an investment bank that agrees to underwrite the stock offering.
The prospectus sets forth the business strategies, financial background, products, services, and management of the issuing company, and information about how the proceeds from the sale of the securities will be used.
The prospectus must be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is designed to help investors make informed investment decisions.
Each mutual fund provides a prospectus to potential investors, explaining its objectives, management team and policies, investment strategy, and performance. The prospectus also summarizes the fees the fund charges and analyzes the risks you take in investing in the fund.