The Center for
Mathematics and Quantitative Education at Dartmouth

Money Matters
The Financial Literacy Initiative at Dartmouth College

Investing in Mutual Funds

Half of all households invest in mutual funds according to investopedia.

In addition to regular investing, they are a primary component of retirement accounts such as employer based 401k programs. Americans had about 12 trillion dollars invested in mutual funds as of July 2011 (download statistics). These funds are an alternative to investing directly in stocks or bonds, allowing the consumer to purchase shares of a fund representing a variety of separate investments.

This module explains how these work, how fees and other charges vary among them and why you might want to use them.

We suggest that instructors open the instructor notes for this module, save them as a PDF file, and print them for reference.

This module also includes assessment tools (pre and post test) and a case study for deeper investigation of this topic. These resources are available by contacting Audrey Brown .

Eric Gaze, Bowdoin College, Dorothy Wallace, Dartmouth College, Kim Rheinlander, Dartmouth College, Caren Diefenderfer, Hollins University