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How to Read a Mutual Fund Prospectus

A mutual fund prospectus can be a valuable source of information for a particular fund or it can help to evaluate the fund's performance relative to other funds. Prospectuses are legal documents that must adhere to standards set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Accordingly, they are an excellent source for unbiased information, presented objectively and consistently.

The information in a mutual fund prospectus includes items such as the fund's investment objectives, fees and expenses, and performance.

Make sure the prospectus you're using is up to date; the SEC requires that prospectuses be updated at least annually. Prospectuses are available free from mutual fund companies, brokers, or registered representatives. Be sure to read the prospectus and ask questions about items that you are not sure about before investing.
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