This mutual fund calculator is a helpful tool that allows you to find the amount of money you will have when an investment in mutual funds matures. Once all of the necessary data has been given to the calculator, you will be able to find your mutual fund return - how much money you earned from your investment. There are many mutual fund types, but they are all investment products that help you invest in a diversified portfolio of assets. Read the section below to find out how mutual funds work.
You will also find a mutual fund definition in the sections below, but first, we will tell you what a mutual fund is and how to use this calculator.
How to use the mutual fund calculator?
This tool helps you calculate your mutual fund returns based on the data you provide. Follow the steps below to learn more about how to use the calculator:
Think about your investment type. You may choose between a systematic investment plan (SIP), which includes monthly contributions to the fund, or a one-time investment (lump sum) - pick one of them.
Depending on the previous choice, input the value of either your monthly contribution or one-time investment.
In the next line, put your expected return from the mutual fund.
Provide the tool with your investment period - the time during which your money will work for you.
You have calculated your mutual fund return! The last line value is the total amount you will get from your investment - the sum of your contribution and the profit from the mutual fund.
What is a mutual fund?
The mutual funds definition tells us that it is a professionally managed investment product. Money is collected from many investors, which is then invested into a specific security, set out in the fund's terms, These securities include stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and other assets. Thanks to mutual funds, small or individual investors have access to a diversified portfolio of financial instruments. So, how do mutual funds work if they let investors provide even a small amount of cash to become a part of a large investment?
How do mutual funds work?
Once you invest your money into a mutual fund, you will become a partial owner of the entire portfolio - similarly to a stock investment. By adding the value of the assets contained within the fund, you will get the crucial figure for mutual funds - its Net Asset Value (NAV).
NAV changes each time the fund is evaluated, and its frequency depends on the fund's policy. NAV is similar to stock price, it represents the price of one share of the mutual fund. The difference between stocks and mutual funds is that there may be an unlimited number of shares in a mutual fund. Each time an investor puts money to the fund, new shares are issued, and shares are removed after each withdrawal.
You may compare the NAV from the beginning of the investment with the NAV from the end, and calculate your mutual fund return - its ROI. The volatility of the NAV is based on the risk of the portfolio, as with most investments. In the next section, you may read about mutual fund types based on the securities in its portfolio.
Mutual fund types
As stated in the mutual fund definition, there are different mutual fund types, classified based on the securities in their portfolios. There are many types, but the most common types are:
Fixed-Income - a type of mutual fund that invests in bonds.
Equity - a mutual fund that invests in stocks.
Balanced - invests in diversified securities.
Money Market - invests in safe, short-term bonds. This type often leads to small but stable returns from the mutual fund.
International - invests in assets located outside of the country.
A very popular type of fund is ETF - Exchange-Traded Fund. It is not included above, as it is not a typical mutual fund.
ETF vs. mutual fund
Both ETFs and mutual funds have a lot in common, as they are professionally managed investments. They are almost the same instrument, with only two significant differences.
Firstly, their purchasing process. Mutual funds can be bought at the end of the day for a calculated price - NAV. Buying ETF is different, as their price is set on the stock exchange.
Secondly, mutual funds are, in most cases, actively managed. It means that the asset manager who takes care of the portfolio makes many transactions in order to create the largest profit possible. In the case of an ETF, the portfolio is often passively managed. It means that the portfolio often relies on other portfolios, for example, indexes (like S&P500, etc.). Passive management often leads to lower managing costs comparing to mutual funds, which may attract investors.
As ETFs are traded on stock markets, you may use the stock calculator to find your profit from this type of investment.