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Mutual Fund Documents: Get to Know the Mutual Fund You Invest In

Before you invest in a mutual fund you need to read any information that is available to shareholders and investors in order to know where you put in your money.  There are different documents you can use to obtain such information.

  • The mutual fund's prospectus

    A mutual fund's prospectus contains valuable information about the fund's fees and expenses, strategies to achieve the investment objectives, risk level, past performance, and more. An investor should receive a prospectus once he or she purchases shares of a mutual fund.

  • Profile

    Some mutual funds also provide a "profile" to investors. This profile summarizes key information that is contained in the fund's prospectus, including principal investment strategies, investment requirements, identity of the fund's investment adviser, etc.

  • Statement of Additional Information (SAI)

    Statements of Additional Information (SAIs) provide information that is found useful by many investors but that is not necessarily needed in order to make an informed investment decision. Thanks to SAIs funds can discuss further the matters described in the prospectus (such as the financial statements of the fund) and provide additional information about the fund's history, policies, performance measures, brokerage commissions, officers, directors, investment advisory services, tax matters, etc.

    Although funds are not required to provide SAIs to investors, they should provide them upon request.

  • Shareholder Reports

    Mutual funds should provide an annual report (60 days after the end of the mutual fund's fiscal year) and a semi-annual report (60 days after the fiscal mid-year) to their shareholders. The reports include updated financial information as well as the fund's portfolio securities.

  • Other Reports

    Other reports that funds are required to file on the SEC's EDGAR database but are not required to mail to their shareholders include the Form N-Q and the Form N-PX. The former is used to disclose the fund's portfolio holdings whereas the latter identifies the proposals on which funds vote portfolio securities and shows how they vote on each.

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