The material set forth in this section and the variable contracts section will comprise 26% of your upcoming examination. Since this is the most heavily tested topic on your exam, ensure you are comfortable with all topics. Refer to weblinks located throughout the sections should you need to review the basics.
An investment company is a corporation or a trust through which individuals invest in diversified, professionally managed portfolios of securities by pooling their funds with those of other investors. Rather than purchasing combinations of individual stocks and bonds for his or her portfolio, an investor can purchase securities indirectly through a package product like a mutual fund.
According to the Investment Company Institute, there are over 8,100 mutual funds (excluding funds of funds, or mutual funds made up of other mutual funds), 254 closed-end funds, 226 exchange-traded funds and 37 UITs.. 91.2 million people owned mutual funds with nearly $8.6 trillion invested in these investment vehicles alone. With so many different products to choose from, it is easy to see why FINRA requires you to master the fundamentals of investment company function, management, regulation and operation.
There are three fundamental types of investment companies: unit investment trusts (UITs), face amount certificate companies and managed investment companies. In the following section we discuss each investment company type in more detail. Remember that all three types have the following things in common:
- An undivided interest in the fund proportional to the number of shares held
- Diversification in a large number of securities
- Professional management
- Specific investment objectives
Unit Investment Trust (UIT)
InvestingLearn about the advantages of investing in mutual funds rather than individual stocks, including the benefits of affordability, oversight and diversification.
Financial AdvisorMore than 80 million people, or half of the households in America, invest in mutual funds. No matter what type of investor you are, there is bound to be a mutual fund that fits your style.
Financial AdvisorLearn how mutual funds work, why they are so popular and how younger investors can get started by putting mutual funds in their IRAs or 401(k)s.
Managing WealthFind out why you should include balanced funds in your portfolio, including the importance of customizability, diversification and professional management.
Financial AdvisorWhat to really look for when you're deciding on a mutual fund.
InvestingLearn how to buy mutual funds online; discover which websites offer mutual fund trading services, how to choose a fund and typical fees.
InvestingUITs offer professional portfolio selection and a definitive investment objective. Are they right for you?
InvestingMutual funds are a great way to build wealth but not all of them are the same. Investors have to be mindful of fees, turnover, redundancy and performance.