Financial Education

Our financial education section offers resources and information to help you learn more about personal finance and investing in order to achieve your financial goals.

Key Components of Mutual Funds

Net Asset Value (NAV)

The Net Asset Value represents the per-share value of a mutual fund. It is calculated by dividing the total value of the fund's assets minus liabilities by the number of outstanding shares. The NAV is typically calculated at the end of each trading day and is used to determine the purchase and redemption price of fund shares.

Expense Ratio

The expense ratio is the annual fee charged by the mutual fund for managing the portfolio and covering other operating expenses. It is expressed as a percentage of the fund's total assets. The expense ratio includes costs such as management fees, administrative expenses, marketing expenses, and other operational costs. A lower expense ratio is generally preferable as it reduces the drag on the fund's overall performance.


A load is a sales charge or commission that investors may pay when buying or selling mutual fund shares. There are two types of loads: front-end loads, which are paid upfront at the time of purchase, and back-end loads or deferred sales charges, which are incurred when selling the shares. Some mutual funds, known as "no-load funds," do not charge any sales load.

Investment Objectives

Mutual funds have specific investment objectives that define the fund's overall goal and the types of securities it invests in. These objectives can vary widely and may include growth, income, value, balanced, sector-specific, or socially responsible investing. It is important for investors to align their investment goals with the fund's stated objectives to ensure a suitable match.

Investment Style

Mutual funds may follow different investment styles or strategies. These can include active management, where fund managers actively make investment decisions to outperform the market, or passive management, where the fund seeks to replicate the performance of a specific market index. Understanding the investment style of a mutual fund can help investors determine if it aligns with their investment preferences and risk tolerance.

Portfolio Holdings

Mutual funds are required to disclose their portfolio holdings periodically. This information provides transparency into the fund's investments and allows investors to assess the level of diversification, sector allocation, and individual security exposure. Investors can review the fund's holdings to evaluate if they are comfortable with the composition and level of risk associated with the investments.


Many mutual funds use a benchmark index as a point of reference to evaluate their performance. The benchmark is typically a broad market index that represents the overall market or a specific asset class. Investors can compare a fund's performance against its benchmark to assess how well the fund is achieving its investment objectives.