By Richard Loth (Contact | Biography)

Financial intermediaries become fund sponsors when they create and operate mutual funds. Such funds are a type of investment company that pools money from the investing public and collectively invests this money in stocks, bonds and money market instruments. A mutual fund provides individual investors with a convenient form of investing, professional management, broad diversification and liquidity.

The purpose of this tutorial is to show the investing public how to use a simple eight-point, fund evaluation technique to select and monitor a mutual fund. But first we are going to step back and put the mutual fund business into historical perspective, review the operational workings of a fund and look at some of the broad issues related to today's mutual fund industry. (For background reading, see Mutual Fund Basics.)

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