Well it was pretty easy to buy a few shares of McDonalds, but what if you are not sure about which stock you should buy? Maybe you would rather let a professional choose the stocks for you. Well, you are not alone. Millions of people turn over control of their finances to professionals by buying Mutual Funds. There are two types of mutual funds, open and closed.
Open mutual funds, such as Fidelity Magellan, let people put their money in them, just like a bank. The difference is that banks take your money and lend it out, and then pay you interest on the money you gave it. This is static, in that it does not change. When you put your money in, the bank usually says we will give you 3 percent interest. When you put your money in a mutual fund, they take that money, along with that of millions of other people who are investing, and buy stocks and bonds with it. They then take out part of the profits for themselves, a commission, and give you your share.
Closed end mutual funds, are similar to their open counterparts in that you turn over control of your money to professionals but, rather than putting money in them like a bank, you buy shares like a stock. This means that a closed end mutual fund acts just like any other stock on the Stock Exchange, they have Ticker Symbols, and are traded. The difference is that these mutual funds, instead of making burgers, or creating airplanes, take the money they have, invest it, and return the profits to the share holders.