Basics of Investing in Mutual Funds

“. . . Learn how to invest in mutual funds with these informative tips.”

This Money/CNN article provides the following 10 statements along with a brief explanation of each statement to help beginning investors learn about fund investing.

  1. What exactly is a mutual fund?
  2. Mutual funds make it easy to diversify.
  3. There are many kinds of stock funds.
  4. Bond funds come in many different flavors too.
  5. Returns aren’t everything – also consider the risk taken to achieve those returns.
  6. Low expenses are crucial.
  7. Taxes take a big bite out of performance.
  8. Don’t chase winners.
  9. Index funds should be a core component of your portfolio.
  10. Don’t be too quick to dump a fund.

For more information, click here. 

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Provide an introduction to the “basics” of mutual fund investing.
  • Point out that this is just one article in the Money/CNN series. By clicking on the next button at the bottom of this article, students can access more articles and obtain more in-depth information about fund investing.

Discussion Questions

  1. Based on the information in this article, why do you think investors choose mutual funds?
  2. The article mentions that there are both stock and bond funds. What is the difference between these two types of funds?  Which type of funds do you think could help you achieve your financial goals?
  3. Why are taxes and expenses important when you choose a mutual fund?

Why Should I Invest?

“Simply put, you want to invest in order to create wealth.  It’s relatively painless, and the rewards are plentiful. “

This article from The Motley Fool website explains why investing is a smart idea.  The article begins with information about the importance of goals.  Then asks the question, “What are you saving for?”.  The article also explains the power of compounding and provides specific examples to illustrate how time, rate of return, and age can make a tremendous difference.

The article also summarizes 9 common pitfalls to avoid including: doing nothing, starting late, investing before paying down credit card debt, etc.

Note:  this is one of a series of articles provided by The Motley Fool website.  Hopefully, students will use this article as a starting point and will use more of the educational materials available on this site.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Stress the importance of beginning a savings and investment program sooner rather than later.
  • Explain the power of compounding examples in this article to illustrate the difference in potential returns.
  • Discuss the 9 common pitfalls that often keep people from starting a savings and investment program.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the advantages of starting an investment program sooner rather than later?
  2. Where can you get the money you need to begin a savings and investment program?
  3. What do you consider the biggest pitfall that keeps you from starting a savings and investment program?

Inside Warren Buffett’s Childhood Home

“Within these hallowed halls live the memories of Buffett buying his first stock–six shares of Cities Service.” 

Warren Buffett is known for being frugal.  His conservative, frugal nature may have started in his childhood home.  This article provides a link to a video that provides a bit of history about Warren Buffett and allows you to tour the home where Buffett bought his first stock–six shares of Cities Service.  It’s also the place where he cooked up one of his first business plans to buy a six-pack of Coca-Cola for a quarter and sell sodas for a nickel each.  Take a look and enjoy a bit of history about the second-richest man in America.

For more information, click here. 

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the original article to

  • Explore some of the reasons why Warren Buffett has been successful not only in investing, but also in life.

Discussion Questions

  1. Warren Buffett started investing when he was very young. He purchased six shares of Cities Service stock.  From that first investment, he went on to build an empire.  What advice do you think Mr. Buffett would give a beginning investor today?
  2. Mr. Buffett is so rich that he could buy just about anything in the world. And yet, he is still known for being frugal.  How do you think this frugal nature affects his investment philosophy and his lifestyle?