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MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 27

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Mutual Funds

Investing In International Mutual Funds

Investing in international mutual funds has two faces:

  • First is buying funds from US based companies that buy and manage portfolio in internationally listed stocks/securities. These companies are governed by regulations of SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)
  • Second is buying mutual funds from international non US companies.

A word of caution before investing even in best international mutual funds - Unlike domestic mutual funds investment, international investments entail additional risk factors such as economic and political in addition to risk of FOREX value (simply put: foreign currency exchange value) fluctuations.

Why Should You Invest In International Opportunities?

The number of funds in international investing is on the rise. We can cite a few reasons for this.

  • Removal of trade barriers and expanding of economies have sparked off growth in many non-US companies.
  • Some of the major industries of the world are dominated by non US companies.
  • Over 72% of the world stocks are listed out side US.
  • Greater and true diversification and opportunity to capitalize on best overseas companies.

Investing in international mutual funds is gaining popularity for various reasons. Rising political stability merging or opening of borders and currencies are some of the reasons. Vibrant and upcoming economies and non US corporations becoming financially stronger by the day are some of the reasons. In addition you get true diversification, balance and
opportunities.

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MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 24

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Mutual Funds

Balanced Funds

The basic objectives of balanced funds are to generate income as well as long-term growth of principal. These funds generally have portfolios consisting of bonds, preferred stocks, and common stocks. They have fairly limited price rise potential, but do have a high degree of safety, and moderate to high income potential.

Investors who desire a fund with a combination of securities in a single portfolio, and who seek some current income and moderate growth with low-level risk, would do well to invest in balanced mutual funds. Balanced funds, by and large, do not differ greatly from the growth and income funds described above.

Growth Funds

Growth funds are offered by every investment company. The primary objective of such funds is to seek long-term appreciation (growth of capital). The secondary objective is to make one's capital investment grow faster than the rate of inflation. Dividend income is considered an incidental objective of growth funds.

Growth funds are best suited for investors interested primarily in seeing their principal grow and are therefore to be considered as long-term investments - held for at least three to five years. Jumping in and out of growth funds tends to defeat their purpose. However, if the fund has not shown substantial growth over a three - to five-year period, sell it (redeem your shares) and seek a growth fund with another investment company. Candidates likely to participate in growth funds are those willing to accept moderate to high risk in order to attain growth of their capital and those investors who characterize their investment temperament as "fairly aggressive.

Read more: MGT604 - Management of Financial Institutions - Lecture Handout 24