Common Stock Fund

DEFINITION of 'Common Stock Fund'

A mutual fund that invests in the common stock of numerous publicly traded companies. Common stock funds provide investment diversification and offer time savings over researching, buying and selling individual stocks. Common stocks are shares of ownership in a corporation that doesn't confer any special privileges, such as guaranteed dividends or preferred creditor status. Investing in a fund that specializes in common stock can provide cost savings if the fund's loads and management fees are lower than the commissions associated with buying and selling individual stocks.

BREAKING DOWN 'Common Stock Fund'

A common stock fund will always be specialized in some way. It might invest in all the companies in the S&P 500, or it might invest only in small-cap tech stocks or mid-cap dividend-paying value stocks, for example. The fund will usually name itself after its specialization and not call itself a common stock fund, because the term "common stock fund" is so broad.

Also, some funds call themselves common stock funds because they invest primarily in common stock (perhaps 80% of the fund's investments), but they might also invest in other types of securities (perhaps 20% of the fund's investments). Investors should look beyond the fund's name and see what it actually owns, when evaluating whether the fund is a good fit for their investment objectives.