Investment Funds (Collective Investment Scheme)
An investment fund is a way of investing money with others to participate in a wider range of investments than feasible for most individual investors, and to share the costs and benefits of doing so.
Terminology varies with country but collective investment schemes are often referred to as mutual funds, investment funds, managed funds, simply funds or collective investment schemes (mutual fund has a specific meaning in the US).
Collective investments are promoted with a wide range of investment aims either targeting specific geographic regions (e.g. Emerging, Europe) or specified industry sectors (e.g. Technology). Depending on the country there is normally a bias towards the domestic market to reflect national self-interest as perceived by policymakers, familiarity, and the lack of currency risk. Funds are often selected on the basis of these specified investment aims, their past investment performance and other factors such as fees.
An open-end fund is equitably divided into shares which vary in price in direct proportion to the variation in value of the fund's net asset value. Each time money is invested, new shares or units are created to match the prevailing share price; each time shares are redeemed, the assets sold match the prevailing share price. In this way there is no supply or demand created for shares and they remain a direct reflection of the underlying assets.
A closed-end fund issues a limited number of shares (or units) in an initial public offering (or IPO) or through private placement. If shares are issued through an IPO, they are then traded on an exchange or directly through the fund manager to create a secondary market subject to market forces. If demand for the shares is high, they may trade at a premium to net asset value. If demand is low they may trade at a discount to net asset value. Further share (or unit) offerings may be made by the scheme if demand is high although this may affect the share price.