Complete Guide To Investment Companies, Funds And REITs


Introduction - Introduction

There are a wide variety of investments vehicles in which a large pool of investors combine their assets and entrust them to a professional portfolio manager. One of the main advantages of these types of investments is that they give small investors access to professionally managed, diversified portfolios of equities, bonds and other securities that would be quite difficult (if not impossible) to create with a small amount of capital. Fractional ownership in the portfolio is made through the purchase of shares. Each shareholder participates proportionally in the portfolio's gain or loss. Some of the more popular investments in this category include:

Mutual Funds
A mutual fund is an investment vehicle that is made up of a pool of funds collected from many investors, for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and similar assets. Open-end mutual funds and closed-end mutual funds represent two of the three types of investment companies.

Unit Investment Trusts
Unit Investment Trusts (UITs) represent the third type of investment company. UITs buy and hold a fixed, unmanaged portfolio, generally of stocks and bonds, as redeemable "units" to investors for a specific period of time. It is designed to provide capital appreciation and/or dividend income.

Exchange-Traded Funds
An ETF is a fund that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold.

Hedge Funds
Hedge funds are aggressively managed portfolios that use advanced investment strategies in an effort to generate high returns (either in an absolute sense or over a specified market benchmark). Hedge funds can be thought of as mutual funds for the super rich.

Real Estate Investment Trusts
A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a dividend-paying stock that focuses on real estate.

Net Asset Value (NAV)
Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    How Mutual Fund Companies Make Money

    Read about the many different kinds of fees and sales charges mutual fund companies can use to generate revenue from those who invest in their shares.
  2. Investing Basics

    The Lipper Rating System Explained

    Take a closer look at how Lipper Inc., a subsidiary of Thomas Reuters, determines the ratings for mutual funds in its Lipper Rating System.
  3. Economics

    The Effect of Fed Fund Rate Hikes on Gold

    Explore the historical relationship between interest rate increases and the price of gold, and consider what effect a fed funds rate hike might have on gold.
  4. Investing

    The ABCs of Bond ETF Distributions

    How do bond exchange traded fund (ETF) distributions work? It’s a question I get a lot. First, let’s explain what we mean by distributions.
  5. Professionals

    Illiquid Real Estate: Correlation Pros and Cons

    Stock and bond markets are moving more closely in tandem with each other. Is illiquid real estate the vaccine for this correlation?
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Mutual Funds Warren Buffet Would Buy

    Learn about four mutual funds Warren Buffett would invest and recommend to his trustee, and discover detailed analysis of these mutual funds.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Passively Managed Vs. Actively Managed Mutual Funds: Which is Better?

    Learn about the differences between actively and passively managed mutual funds, and for which types of investors each management style is best suited.
  8. Professionals

    How to Navigate Taxable Mutual Fund Distributions

    It's almost time for year-end capital gains distributions for mutual funds. Here's how to monitor them and minimize their tax impact.
  9. Investing Basics

    Top Tips for Diversifying with Exotic Currencies

    Is there an opportunity in exotic currencies right now, or are you safer sticking to the major ones?
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The 3 Biggest Mutual Fund Companies in the US

    Compare and contrast the rise of America's big three institutional asset managers: BlackRock Funds, The Vanguard Group and State Street Global Advisors.
  1. Private Equity Real Estate

    A Definition of "Private Equity Real Estate" and how it applies ...
  2. Alpha

    Alpha is used in finance to represent two things: 1. a measure ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based ...
  4. Equity

    Equity is the value of an asset less the value of all liabilities ...
  5. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  6. Real Estate Investment Trust - ...

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through ...
  1. How do hedge funds use equity options?

    With the growth in the size and number of hedge funds over the past decade, the interest in how these funds go about generating ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds only hold stocks?

    There are some types of mutual funds, called stock funds or equity funds, which hold only stocks. However, there are a number ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do mutual funds compound interest?

    The magic of compound interest can be summed up as the concept of interest making interest. On the other hand, simple interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I read and analyze an income statement?

    The income statement, also known as the profit and loss (P&L) statement, is the financial statement that depicts the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do mutual funds pay interest?

    Some mutual funds pay interest, though it depends on the types of assets held in the funds' portfolios. Specifically, bond ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why have mutual funds become so popular?

    Mutual funds have become an incredibly popular option for a wide variety of investors. This is primarily due to the automatic ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!