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The first step towards investing is learning the basics. Explore the different types of investment funds and asset classes and get started with planning for retirement or another life goal.

Fund types

Mutual funds

An easy way to invest in stocks and/or bonds is through mutual funds, or professionally managed portfolios. Investors buy shares in a fund, and the mutual fund company pools that money to invest on their behalf. A share represents a portion of the fund's holdings. Mutual funds are bought and sold directly from the mutual fund company at the current day’s closing price, the Net Asset Value (NAV). By understanding your risk tolerance, you can select funds with asset allocations designed to best meet your goals.

iShares ETFs

An exchange traded fund (ETF) is a diversified collection of assets (like a mutual fund) that trades on an exchange (like a stock). Some ETFs seek to track the performance of a specified index, such as the S&P 500. Like mutual funds, iShares ETFs offer investors diversified exposure to a portfolio of securities, such as stocks, bonds, commodities and real estate. Because ETFs trade on exchanges, they offer investors potential benefits such as intraday trading, daily transparency of holdings and low fees.

Closed-end funds

Closed-end funds are actively managed mutual funds that trade on an exchange like a stock. They can play an important role in a diversified portfolio, providing the potential for income and capital appreciation.

Asset classes

Equities

Equity investing is the term used for investing in the stock market. Money is invested in a company through the purchase of its shares. These shares are traded on a stock exchange.

Fixed income

Fixed income is an investment approach focused on preservation of capital and income. It typically includes investments like government and corporate bonds, CDs and money market funds. Fixed income can offer a steady stream of income with less risk than stocks.

Multi-asset

A multi-asset strategy combines different types of assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate or cash to create a more nimble and broadly diversified portfolio. Fund managers balance asset classes to achieve particular investment objectives, such as growth, income or risk minimization.

Alternatives

Alternatives are investments in assets other than stocks, bonds and cash, or investments using strategies that go beyond traditional methods, such as long/short or arbitrage strategies.

How to invest in bonds

Bonds can be a useful instrument in helping you reach your financial goals. Bonds yield income, are often considered less risky than stocks and can help diversify your portfolio.

Retirement

Plan for retirement

The investment needs of your retirement portfolio will likely change over time. Proper retirement planning can help you choose a portfolio that best meets your objectives and risk tolerance.

 


How to invest

Investing can be a great way to grow your money. Because interest rates are still at historic lows, money parked in a savings account won’t grow much over time. But if you invest your money, there’s a chance that you’ll get a greater return on your investment and see your capital grow. And that means you’ll have more economic power in the future.