Making Sense of Mutual Fund Lingo

The jargon of investing may seem designed to confuse, but understanding a few of the terms can help you navigate your way more easily through the maze of financial information.

 

Measuring Performance

The NAV -- or net asset value -- of a fund is the price to buy or sell one share of the fund. It is calculated on a regular basis by the fund company using the closing price of each security held in the fund. In some retirement plans, the actual unit value of shares may differ from the NAV.

 

Capital appreciation (or depreciation) is the difference between the price (NAV) of your shares when you bought them and the current price. While maximizing capital appreciation is the objective of growth funds, money market mutual funds strive to maintain a constant NAV of $1, so they offer no opportunity for capital appreciation.

 

Yield is the interest earned or income generated by the fund as a percentage of its NAV. Although some equity funds may pay interest, yield is most relevant as a measurement for bond and money market funds that have income as their primary objective.

 

Total return is calculated as a percentage change in the fund's NAV, plus any other income. It represents the gain -- or loss -- of any fund over time, assuming that all distributions by the fund have been reinvested. It may be useful to compare your fund's total return to an appropriate benchmark index as well as to other mutual funds with similar investment objectives.

 

Fund Distributions

When the securities in a fund pay interest or dividends, the fund passes them along to its shareholders. In the same way, any capital gains -- or profit -- realized by the sale of a security in the fund are distributed as well. Through your retirement plan, these dividend and capital gains distributions are automatically reinvested in the fund to foster long-term growth. You receive additional shares (or fraction of a share) rather than cash.

 

Taking the time to decipher the language of investing can be an important step toward taking control of your financial future.

 

Required Attribution

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content. 

 

© 2015 Wealth Management Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Robert J. Pyle, CFP®, CFA is president of Diversified Asset Management, Inc. (DAMI). DAMI is licensed as an investment adviser with the State of Colorado Division of Securities, and its investment advisory representatives are licensed by the State of Colorado. DAMI will only transact business in other states to the extent DAMI has made the requisite notice filings or obtained the necessary licensing in such state. No follow up or individualized responses to persons in other jurisdictions that involve either rendering or attempting to render personalized investment advice for compensation will be made absent compliance with applicable legal requirements, or an applicable exemption or exclusion. It does not constitute investment or tax advice. To contact Robert, call 303-440-2906 or e-mail info@diversifiedassetmanagement.com.

 

The views, opinion, information and content provided here are solely those of the respective authors, and may not represent the views or opinions of Diversified Asset Management, Inc.  The selection of any posts or articles should not be regarded as an explicit or implicit endorsement or recommendation of any such posts or articles, or services provided or referenced and statements made by the authors of such posts or articles.  Diversified Asset Management, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy or currency of any such third party information or content, and does not undertake to verify or update such information or content. Any such information or other content should not be construed as investment, legal, accounting or tax advice.