Complete Guide To Investment Companies, Funds And REITs

AAA

How To Read A Prospectus - Reading A Prospectus

You've probably heard it said more than once that you should always consult a mutual fund's prospectus before handing over your money. The same advice applies to unit investment trusts (UITs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and REITS.

While mutual funds and UITs are legally required to provide a prospectus to prospective investors, it's no secret that the size of this document and the type of information inside can be hard to tackle, but don't be too overwhelmed. Here is a guide to what a prospectus is, why it is important and what items should be central to your considerations.

What Is a Prospectus?
A prospectus is a formal legal document, which is required by and filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. It provides details about an investment offering for sale to the public, including fees, investment objectives and strategies, as well as the finer points of the past performance, risks, performance, distribution policy, fees and expenses, and fund management.

You can obtain these documents directly from fund companies through mail, email or phone. You can also get them from a financial planner or advisor. Many fund companies also provide PDF versions of their prospectuses on their websites.

Related Reading:

Investment Objectives And Strategies
Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Asia 50

    Read more about BlackRock's iShares Asia 50 Fund, an ETF that follows the four "Asian Tiger'' nations plus China.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: WisdomTree International LargeCp Div

    Learn more about the WisdomTree International LargeCap Dividend fund, an income-based international equities ETF that focuses heavily on the United Kingdom.
  3. Investing

    Automating Your 401(k) is Easier Than You Think

    If you like automation, you should check out these features that many 401(k) plans offer.
  4. Investing Basics

    Explaining Delivery Versus Payment

    Delivery versus payment is a common procedure for settling the exchange of securities.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: United States Gasoline Fund

    Learn about the United States Gasoline Fund, the characteristics of the exchange-traded fund, and the suitability and recommendations of it.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: United States 12 Month Oil

    Find out more information about the United States 12 Month Oil ETF, and explore detailed analysis of the characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology

    Find out information about the ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology exchange-traded fund, and learn detailed analysis of its characteristics and suitability.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bull 3X

    Learn more about the Direxion Daily S&P Biotech Bull 3x exchange-traded fund, a new triple-leveraged ETF tracking biotechnology equities.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX

    Learn more about the First Trust Health Care AlphaDEX exchange-traded fund, an indexed fund that uses an advanced stock selection methodology.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares FTSE RAFI Emerging Mkts

    Learn more about the PowerShares FTSE RAFI Emerging Markets ETF, a fundamentally weighted fund that tracks emerging market equities.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Derivative

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

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through ...
  4. Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

    A security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets ...
  5. Profit Margin

    A category of ratios measuring profitability calculated as net ...
  6. Dividend Yield

    A financial ratio that shows how much a company pays out in dividends ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do dividends affect net asset value (NAV) in mutual funds?

    Distribution of dividends reduces the net asset value (NAV) of mutual fund shares. However, this doesn't mean that fund investors ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are mutual funds considered retirement accounts?

    Unlike a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), mutual funds are not classified as retirement accounts. Employers ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do mutual funds invest only in stocks?

    Mutual funds invest in stocks, but certain types also invest in government and corporate bonds. Stocks are subject to the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why are mutual funds not FDIC-insured?

    Mutual funds are not Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured because money invested in funds are not considered ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can mutual funds invest in commodities?

    Mutual funds can invest in commodities. In fact, mutual funds may provide a better way for investors to gain exposure to ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can mutual funds invest in IPOs?

    Mutual funds can invest in initial public offerings (IPOS). However, most mutual funds have bylaws that prevent them from ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

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!