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Basic Information for Investors of Mutual Funds Sold at Banks

From Associated Press

Mutual funds, including those sold through banks, are not federally insured like bank deposits.

* Mutual funds offer small and medium-size investors professional management and a stake in a range of securities. That may reduce the risk they would have in owning just a few stocks or bonds.

* Your investment in a mutual fund can rise or fall in value, depending on market conditions. You could lose money if you sell while the price is down.

* Mutual funds are not backed by the bank’s money.

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* Mutual funds have prospectuses, which you should read before investing in a fund.

* Many banks, like brokerage houses, charge a commission for selling a mutual fund. You should ask about that and other fees, sometimes known as loads.

* Some bank investment services may offer insurance from the Securities Investor Protection Corp, or SIPC. This is not federal deposit insurance. The SIPC insurance protects customers against losing their securities if an investment firm fails. It does not protect against losses due to market conditions.


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