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Get details on specific categories of funds

Learn about different types of mutual funds and how they can work together in your portfolio.

Money market funds

Use money market funds to limit your money's exposure to market risk while you save for emergencies, an upcoming big purchase, or another short-term need.

Bond funds

Choose bond funds if you're looking for income and want to moderate the risks involved with the stock portion of your portfolio.

These funds generally offer higher yields than money market funds and less volatility than stock funds.

Balanced funds

These funds have varying degrees of risk based on the percentages of stocks and bonds in the portfolio. Some maintain a steady asset allocation; others gradually become more conservative over time.

Stock funds

Consider stock funds if you want to increase your chances of growing your money over longer periods of time.

These funds expose you to more risk than typical bond funds. But you can limit some of that risk when you pair stock funds with bond funds as part of a diversified portfolio.

International funds

Get exposure to investment opportunities in developed and emerging countries.

International funds can provide additional diversification in a well-balanced portfolio.

Sector & specialty funds

Focus on a specific industry, like precious metals, real estate, health care, or energy.

But remember, these funds have a very narrow focus—exposing you to more risk—and should only be used to supplement an already diversified portfolio.

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Asset allocation

The way an investment portfolio is divided among the broader asset classes of stocks, bonds, and short-term reserves. Also known as "asset mix."